Sandhill cranes in the crosshairs

Sandhill Cranes by Kevin Povenz

Sandhill Cranes by Kevin Povenz

My commentary: While I completely support hunting & have to admit “ribeye in the sky” has a certain appeal, this seems very very stupid. If human beings have demonstrated anything over the last 100 years, it’s that we are legitimately terrible stewards of nature. 

The Great Lakes Echo shares news that politicians in both Wisconsin and Michigan are working to create a hunting season for eastern sandhill cranes:

A Michigan legislative resolution to encourage the Natural Resources Commission to explore the possibilities of issuing tags for cranes was introduced but not adopted. Wisconsin has gone further, where lawmakers introduced a bill in October to require the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to issue permits to eligible hunters for the birds.

If either of these measures passes, it would be the first time the bird has been hunted legally in its breeding grounds since the species was nearly hunted to extinction in the early 1900s.

…Their low birth rate, paired with increased habitat loss and overhunting during the early 1900s, led to its eradication from a number of Great Lakes states, including Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. By the 1930s, there were only 25 breeding pairs in Wisconsin, according to population counts at the time.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, like Mark Berres, claim that near-extinction means that the eastern sandhill crane still has problems with genetic diversity, which makes it more susceptible to overhunting.

Tons more in the Echo

Kevin took this photo of sandhill cranes in flight way back in December of 2012. See more in his massive Birds gallery on Flickr & for sure head over to his Flickr for Kevin’s latest photos!!

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6 thoughts on “Sandhill cranes in the crosshairs

  1. In the area of Michigan near the St. Louis Center – Chelsea, Grass Lake, Waterloo – we have a large population of Sandhill Cranes. I am linking to an old article, true, but I’m not sure if anybody is reporting and sending stories to this local news outlet. There are several stories published there about the Sandhill cranes in our area.

    They are stunning to be sure …


  2. Really appreciate your ongoing efforts to make us aware of things we need to contact our state reps about. What would be the value of hunting an animal that was on the brink of extinction and is still in danger, due to genetic issues? Are they trophy birds? Surely no one is going to eat them…? Appreciate your continued service to Michigan wildlife!


  3. I heard that news as well and was disgusted by it. You know the Sandhill Cranes won’t be shot down, but stalked, then shot, as they walk about the woods, in pairs, their colts beside or between the pair.


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