We exist to protect and maintain the physical, hydrological and biological integrity of the Big Bend area of the Platte River so that it continues to function as a life support system for whooping cranes, sandhill cranes and other migratory bird species. With your help we can make a difference. Learn more and get involved.
On October 13th during the late afternoon and early evening we began to hear large numbers of Sandhill Cranes flying overhead as the full “Hunter's Moon” rose in the darkening sky (Pic. 1). Generally, in the fall, Sandhill Cranes simply pass over the Central Platte River Valley (CPRV), or stop in relatively small flocks of about 20 to 100 birds for a night or two. This is very different than the massive gathering of over 600,000 birds that occurs here in the spring.
The Crane Trust Science Team worked with our partners at Hastings College last week to host our collaborative week-long educational program, Crane Trust Academy. We welcomed 12 high school students from Nebraska and Colorado to introduce them to the amazing wildlife in the Platte River Valley and standard field ecology research methods.
Happy World Otter Day! While unregulated harvest and habitat degradation led to the extirpation of river otters (Lontra canadensis) from the state of Nebraska by the early 1900s (Biscof 2006, Olson et al. 2008, Wilson 2012), extensive reintroduction efforts by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission have resulted in a healthy, reproductively viable, and expanding population of river otters in the state (Panella and Wilson 2018).