Friday, October 12, 2012

Crane Trust Research Symposium To Focus on Complex Platte River Ecosystem


For Immediate Release / Contact: Mary Harner (308) 384-4633
October 12, 2012

Crane Trust Research Symposium 
To Focus on Complex Platte River Ecosystem

Wood River, Neb–The Crane Trust will convene a comprehensive research symposium focused on the Platte River ecosystem on October 19, 2012, at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. The all-day event will feature 20 presentations and overviews of leading scientific research being conducted on Crane Trust lands and surrounding habitats.  

The program has been organized to showcase the remarkable diversity and significance of research being conducted on the central Platte River ecosystem as it pertains to critical habitat for sandhill cranes, the endangered whooping crane, and other migratory birds. 

"Few people realize the full extent of the tremendous research being done right here in our own backyard to better understand and preserve essential habitat on the Platte," says Dr. Mary Harner, Crane Trust Director of Science.  "The research community's response to the new forum has been overwhelming to say the least."

Joining the Crane Trust for this inaugural event are researchers from multiple universities, conservation groups and government agencies. Among the presenters are Dr. Gary Krapu of the U.S. Geological Survey Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Institute and Mery Cassady of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Dr. Krapu has studied and written extensively on sandhill cranes in the region for over 30 years. Cassady will share insights from her ongoing work on the whooping crane's response to habitat alteration. 

Harner notes that a significant body of the research on display has been conducted in part on Crane Trust lands and in cooperation with the Crane Trust's scientific team. The symposium will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is divided into four primary sessions:  

1) Sandhill Cranes of the Platte River
2) Threatened and Endangered Species of the Central Platte River
3) Linkages Among Aquatic and Terrestrial Habitats
4) Poster Viewing and Peer Exchange

"There's an incredible need and benefit that comes from exchanging ideas, initiating new collaborations, and raising awareness for the important work being done to protect and maintain habitat for cranes and other migratory birds," says Harner. "The Crane Trust is immensely gratified to contribute directly to the research and serve as a catalyst for this important exchange as well. It's very exciting." 

For information on the program, presenters and registration, call or e-mail Karen Krull Robart at (308) 382-1820, 

Established in 1978, the Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of habitat for cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through science, habitat management, community outreach and education. 

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The Crane Trust / 6611 Whooping Crane Drive, Wood River, NE 68883 / (308) 384-4633

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