Hillary Thompson was a Field Ecology Intern at the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in 2012 and hasn't left since! She learned field and research techniques during her internship and applied them to her studies for her MS degree at Clemson University, where she focused on the winter habitat of Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP). Hillary now is a Whooping Crane Biologist at ICF, she coordinates monitoring of EMP Whooping Cranes, is the Co-Chair of the Reintroduction Field Team as well as the President of the North American Crane Working Group. She leads a capture team, coordinates releases of young Whooping Cranes, and genuinely enjoys waking up early to go follow cranes around!
Talk: Twenty Years of Reintroducing Migratory Whooping Cranes
The first cohort of Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population was raised by people in crane costumes and was trained to follow ultralight aircraft on migration between Wisconsin and Florida in 2001. So where are we now? A lot has changed since 2001, including the way we raise and release young cranes, and what they are up to in the wild. Come here more about how captive-raised cranes are released, what we do to monitor them throughout their lives, and some of the successes and challenges of establishing a new population of migratory cranes.