By Published On: March 6, 2024

New Science! Flood Irrigation and Greater Sandhill Cranes

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A brand new study from the IWJV and partners, Flood-irrigated agriculture mediates climate-induced wetland scarcity for summering sandhill cranes in western North America, pinpoints key summering and breeding habitat for greater sandhill cranes in the Intermountain West. The research indicates that cranes rely on riparian corridors and associated flood-irrigated grass hay meadows for breeding and colt-rearing during spring and summer months—areas that are threatened by human development and increasing water scarcity due to climate change. Furthermore, the study identifies that flood-irrigated grass hay agriculture provides 60 percent of the wetlands that support sandhill cranes in the region.

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