WGF Provides Testimony on Sandhill Crane Hunting Bill, Senate Bill 620

WI Green Fire, October 18, 2021

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Wisconsin’s Green Fire will provide testimony at a public hearing on Tuesday, October 19th about Senate Bill 620, a recent bill regarding hunting sandhill cranes in Wisconsin. WGF members Dr. Robert Rolley, Dr. Stanley Temple, and Tom Hauge contributed to this testimony that encourages consideration of the unique sandhill crane biology, coordination with the regional Mississippi Flyway Council, and levels of crop damage due to cranes. The testimony lists key information regarding sandhill cranes in Wisconsin, including the following:

  • There is no sustainable level of fall hunting that will significantly reduce spring damage to crops from sandhill cranes. Crop damage from cranes occurs primarily in the spring when the cranes feed on the germinating corn seeds after planting, however just as with all other waterfowl, recreational crane hunting is limited to late summer or fall.
  • If a Wisconsin hunt is approved, the quotas, timing, and other elements of a hunt structure must be coordinated through the Mississippi Flyway Council in conjunction with our neighboring states in accordance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 
  • Setting conservative, science-based quotas is essential. Population modeling and experience in other states suggests strongly that harvest rates greater than 4% are high enough to create risks of long-term population declines.

Read WGF’s testimony here.

Questions? Contact Fred Clark at fclark@wigreenfire.org.