In early February 2012 Wisconsin State Representative Joel Kleefisch introduced a bill proposing a regulated Sandhill Crane hunt in the state. The following update summarizes ICF’s role in the ongoing discussion of this issue.
Our Position: The International Crane Foundation does not endorse or oppose Sandhill Crane hunting in North America. We recognize the role of regulated hunting in current wildlife population management practices, and the importance of hunting traditions to communities, not just on this continent, but globally. We maintain three strong positions relative to crane hunting.
At ICF’s Baraboo headquarters, we have all 15 species of crane, many for purposes of breeding and maintaining the valuable genetic lines of several endangered species. That responsibility, however, precludes us from taking in any injured cranes, either from public reports or as a result of our research. Wild birds have the potential of bringing with them any number of diseases that could wreak havoc with our captive population; that is a risk we cannot take.
ICF has worked in the Mekong River Basin since 1988, coordinating community projects, long-term wetland restoration activities, and training for a new generation of wetland managers. Working with eight founding institutions, ICF created the University Network of Southeast Asia in 2001 to establish a training program in wetland ecology and management for students and professionals in the Mekong Basin. Over the past ten years, this network has grown to include 18 member universities and has trained over 200 students in wetland management. Many are now leaders in universities and conservation organizations working within the region.