Jackson County, Mississippi
Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.
Pesticide Table for the Mississippi Sandhill Crane | About the Mississippi Sandhill Crane
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Mississippi Sandhill Crane
Table of Pesticide Active Ingredients
|PARATHION (ethyl parathion)||28|
Limitations on Pesticide Use
|28||Do not apply within 100 yards of the species habitat for aerial applications nor within 20 yards of the|
|35||Do not apply on livestock within one-half mile of the species habitat.|
Mississippi sandhill crane [Grus canadensis pulla]
The Mississippi sandhill crane is a large wading bird with a wingspread up to 7 feet wide. Like other cranes, it is characterized by its long legs, neck, and bill but it stands apart by its darker color of grey. Adult birds have a red patch on the crown and forehead while immature birds are without. It feeds on reptiles, amphibians, insects, and aquatic plants, and in winter will feed in harvested grain fields. Flying and roosting are done in groups, but pairs select breeding territory for courtship, mating, and nesting. Courtship displays include tossing grass, loud calling, bowing and leaping, and running with outspread wings. Clutch size is one to two eggs that hatch around May.
Mississippi sandhill cranes nest in open savannas, swamp edges, young pine plantations, and along the edges of pine forests with shallow wetlands. Small populations of sandhill cranes were once found along the Gulf coastal plain of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. In the late 1920's, the population was estimated to be about 100 cranes. The 1989 population estimate was about 60 birds in an area confined to southern Jackson County, Mississippi, extending from the Pascagoula River west to the Jackson County line. Part of this area is within the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. The main winter roost is in the Bluff Creek, Bayou Castelle, and Paige Bayou marshes.
A major factor contributing to this species' decline is the reduction fo the Gulf coast's old-growth longleaf pine forests. Instead, pine plantations have changed the natural vegetative patterns which has greatly reduced crane habitat. Highway, commercial, and residential development have also disturbed crane habitat. In addition, periodic hurricanes often can destroy nests and drown young chicks.
The Nature Conservancy and the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge administer large amounts of land for sandhill crane protection but for unknown reasons, newly hatched cranes have exhibited unusually high mortality rates. Captive breeding is credited for the maintaining population level but further efforts are needed to establish stable populations in the wild.
Matthews, John R. (ed.), The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species, Beacham Publishing Inc, Washington, DC. Vol II, pp. 849-850.