From 1990–2001, we made 188 successful captures of 166 different greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) through experimental use of alpha-chloralose (AC). Most captures took place during September (72.3%; n=136), followed by August (14.9%; n=28), and October (12.8%; n=24). Territorial pairs were captured more successfully than family groups. Overall morbidity (6.4%) and mortality (4.3%) were lower than most other capture techniques for sandhill cranes. Exertional myopathy (EM) was the most common complication observed using AC (3.7%). Sedation level (χ52=25.9, P<0.01) and month of capture (χ22=12.3, P<0.01) were both associated with the presence of EM in cranes captured with AC. A logistic regression model suggests lighter sedation and the months of August and October are potential risk factors for EM in sandhill cranes captured with AC in Wisconsin (USA).
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Vol. 39 • No. 4