Whooping Crane Operational Contingency Plan
A Whooping Crane Operational Contingency Plan "template" was developed based on previous contingency plans and input from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
An operational contingency plan outlining what steps will be taken in the unlikely event a Whooping Crane is observed near a wind energy project can help reduce the potential for Whooping Crane-wind turbine collisions.
The Whooping Crane is state and federally listed as an endangered and is found in Nebraska during spring and fall migration.
Although Whooping Cranes migrate at elevations higher than 1,000 feet, they rely on frequent stopover sites to rest and feed.
It is in approach or departure to stopovers and during flights to feeding areas while at stopover locations that Whooping Cranes are more susceptible to collisions with structures, such as wind turbines.
Modifying wind turbine operations when Whooping Cranes are within five miles of a wind energy facility is judicious.
It is highly recommended that wind energy developers and operators develop an operational contingency plan for Whooping Cranes for wind energy development projects in Nebraska.
The "template" can be used to assist in plan development. Use of the "template" does not replace consultation with the NGPC and USFWS.