Reporting From the Nesting Grounds: Meet Lea Craig-Moore
Canadian Wildlife Service

Lea Craig-Moore is a wildlife technician with the Canadian Wildlife Service, based out of Saskatoon, SK. She has been involved with the Whooping cranes since 2002. August 2009: "We were out recording the acoustics of
Whooping cranes. To my right is the pilot and to my left is a fellow that works for Wood Buffalo National Park.
Lea makes recordings of Whooping crane unison calls in an effort to identify individual pairs through their unique voiceprints.

This is Lea with Brian Johns, now retired, in August 2009 when they were driving to Fort Smith, near the nesting grounds.

It is 1,000 kilometers—three full days of driving—from their base in Saskatoon. They travel to Fort Smith in order to fly over the area to survey and count the cranes (and later the chicks) during nesting season.

For the cranes, 1,000 km is about a 3-day flight.

This map of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba shows the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park. The park covers 27,842 sqare miles! Established in 1922, it is Canada's largest national park. At that time, no one even knew it was the nesting ground for the world's only naturally occurring population of migratory Whooping cranes. The red area is the general location of the Whooping crane nesting area. The nesting area spans the Alberta/Northwest Territories border. It includes, but is not restricted to, Wood Buffalo National Park.

Find the red area that shows the nesting grounds of the natural (western) flock. Can you name the Canadian provinces shown?