The relationship of blue crab abundance to winter mortality of Whooping Cranes

Wilson Journal of Ornithology
By: , and 



We sampled blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) numbers in marshes on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas from 1998-2006, while simultaneously censusing the wintering population of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) on the refuge and surrounding habitats. This was done to determine whether mortality of wintering Whooping Cranes was related to the availability of this food source. Yearly variation in crab numbers was high, ranging from a low of 0.1 crabs to a high of 3.4 crabs per 100-m transect section. Significant non-linear increases in both juvenile and adult mortality in relation to decreasing crab abundance was observed. Results suggest that some threshold of crab abundance exists in which Whooping Cranes have higher survival on their wintering grounds.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The relationship of blue crab abundance to winter mortality of Whooping Cranes
Series title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
DOI 10.1676/12-159.1
Volume 125
Issue 3
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher The Wilson Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
First page 658
Last page 661
Time Range Start 1998-01-01
Time Range End 2006-12-31
Country United States
State Texas
Other Geospatial Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
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