The International Crane foundation is working to apprehend those responsible for the killing of a whooping crane near Lyons, Indiana in Greene County and asks the public for assistance. A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible the killing of this endangered bird.
An International Crane Foundation volunteer found the crane on January 3, 2017 near Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. This 8,000 acre protected area of prairie and marsh habitat is frequented by cranes. While initial findings show that the bird was killed by a high-powered rifle, the carcass has been sent to our National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for confirmation.
While the foundation is actively working with our conservation partners in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, we are asking the public for help as well. Information from concerned citizens has been helpful in closing wildlife crime cases in the past and it could also make the difference in this case. Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call 317-346-7017.
Whooping cranes are protected by the Endangered Species Act, the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and state laws. The legal protections and reintroduction effort have helped the whooping crane population recover from a few dozen in the 1940s to about 500 in the wild today, but its status remains fragile. The whooping crane killed in Greene County was part of an effort to establish an eastern continental flock on a migratory path between Wisconsin and Florida that takes them through Indiana.
Learn more about the protected status of whooping cranes: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/whoopingcran