Sandhill Crane Research

Update on the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes

Though Sandhill Cranes were nearly extirpated in Wisconsin during the 1930s, efforts have been made to restore their population. However, the cranes have not yet fully reoccupied their former breeding range, facing challenges in the transformed landscape due to human growth and development. In their current habitat, characterized by isolated and widely separated wetlands within an agricultural landscape, Sandhill Cranes have encountered conflicts with agricultural producers throughout Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. To ensure the future success of these cranes, it is crucial to understand and address emerging stress factors and develop effective mitigation strategies.

Presented by: Ryan Michalesko is the Landowner Engagement Specialist for the International Crane Foundation. With a strong focus on sandhill cranes and habitat conservation, Ryan brings extensive knowledge and experience to the field. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Planning and later completed his Master of Science in Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Ryan’s research emphasizes the importance of involving landowners in natural resource management and policy decisions, as well as utilizing mapping techniques to identify statewide trends in resources. With his expertise, Ryan contributes significantly to the understanding and conservation efforts of the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes.