The Land Trust for Tennessee and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) successfully partnered to purchase 68 acres of critical wildlife habitat located along Blythe Ferry Road near the confluence of the Hiwassee and Tennessee Rivers. This essential acreage is now part of the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County thanks to the tremendous support of individuals, foundations and the community.
At the North American Crane Workshop in 2008, ICF had the pleasure to host our long-term colleague, Inga Bysykatova from the Institute of Biological Problems of the Cryolithozone (IBPC) in Yakutia, Russia. Inga had been studying Sandhill Cranes that migrated from Texas, across Alaska, to breed in the tundra in far eastern Russia.
A perfect balance of entertainment and education, Raising Kid Colt – A Story of a Young Sandhill Crane, invites you into the exciting world of a wild Sandhill Crane couple and their parenthood adventures. The incredible footage and documentation of these cranes was captured by amateur videographer, Nina Faust, who happily shares her land in Homer, Alaska with a Sandhill Crane family.
In mid-June we enjoyed another magical night at the International Crane Foundation. An Evening with the Cranes drew friends from across the country to share wine, food, and song from the crane regions of the world, under a beautiful summer sky.
This past February, Wisconsin legislators introduced an assembly bill that would authorize the hunting of Sandhill Cranes in Wisconsin. The bill was defended as a necessary measure to reduce crop depredation caused by Sandhill Cranes, and to enable farmers to apply for wildlife damage abatement assistance and claim payments.
An effective solution for damage that Sandhill Cranes cause to planted corn seeds has been used in record amounts during the just-completed 2012 planting season and represents a win-win solution for both conservation and agriculture. Developed by the International Crane Foundation (ICF) and Arkion LLC, Avipel® has been available to farmers since 2006.
Since 1990, ICF has banded over 400 Sandhill Cranes in central Wisconsin, one of the densest nesting populations of cranes known anywhere in the world (we annually track around 60 breeding territories in our 6,400 ha study area). The small leg bands and radio transmitters, the latter placed on a select number of cranes, allow our staff to identify and track individual birds – once we can identify individuals, we can follow their movements, form hypotheses about their behaviors, and test these ideas in the field.
In early February 2012 Wisconsin State Representative Joel Kleefisch introduced a bill proposing a regulated Sandhill Crane hunt in the state, citing the need to control crop damage by cranes. Though this bill never made it to a vote during this spring’s legislative session, a Sandhill Crane hunting bill will likely be introduced again in the future. For now, the state’s discussion on the Sandhill Crane hunting issue will continue in forums like the upcoming Conservation Congress meetings on April 9, 2012.
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.