Contact: Lizzie Condon, Keeping Whooping Cranes Safe Coordinator, 608-356-9462 x 142
Two Endangered Whooping Cranes Shot in Louisiana
Demonstrates Need for Strict Sentencing to Deter Future Crimes
Louisiana – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has confirmed the apparent shooting of two Endangered Whooping Cranes in Acadia Parish, Louisiana. The cranes were discovered on March 20 and sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensics lab for analysis. The International Crane Foundation expresses anger and frustration at the news of another shooting.
“We are deeply frustrated with this news of another senseless shooting in Louisiana. These are criminal acts, and strong legal convictions with meaningful sentences are essential to serve as a deterrent to future shootings. We will keep the pressure on to ensure that tough sentencing is achieved,” said Dr. Rich Beilfuss, President and CEO.
The Louisiana Whooping Crane flock has lost nine birds to shootings over the last three years, including two birds that were shot in Texas in January 2016. The Texas shooting case is currently moving through the court system, and the alleged shooter will be tried under the Endangered Species Act. This most recent loss in Louisiana illustrates why tough sentencing is needed in the Texas case – and all cases – to set an example that will deter future crimes.
“We are calling on citizens to take action to prevent future shootings by joining the national campaign to protect Whooping Cranes,” continued Beilfuss.
Citizens can learn more about the national campaign to protect Whooping Cranes by visiting https://savingcranes.org/i-give-a-whoop/. Here, citizens will receive information on how to report suspicious or illegal behavior, receive a water bird identification guide, and have the opportunity to join others from across the country in pledging support for Whooping Cranes.
“The loss of two more Whooping Cranes in this fragile population affects everyone who works so hard to protect these iconic birds. This is not just a loss for Louisiana, but for a nation in which Whooping Cranes are a success story for the recovery of an endangered species,” concluded Beilfuss.
The International Crane Foundation plays a leading role in the conservation of Whooping Cranes, from captive breeding and release programs, habitat protection, citizen education and engagement, and threat reduction along their flyways. Learn more about the International Crane Foundation and our work to protect Endangered Whooping Cranes at www.savingcranes.org.