Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reward Tripled

Whooping Crane
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
According to Operation Migration's Field Journal:

Wildlife law enforcement agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources continue their joint investigation of the shooting of Whooping crane 217*. She is the First Family matriarch, who, along with mate 211, are the only Whooping cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population who thus far have successfully reared young.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents are conducting a joint investigation into the shooting incident which took place near the town of Cayuga in central Vermillion County, Indiana. In addition to the Endangered Species Act, Whooping cranes are protected by state laws and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

It was announced yesterday that in addition to the initial $2500 reward posted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, contributions from two organizations have tripled the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot and killed 217*.

Defenders of Wildlife, a national non-profit conservation organization, and the Indiana Turn in a Poacher or a Polluter Program have each donated $2,500 bringing the total reward monies to $7,500.

Anyone with information should call the Indiana Department of Natural Resources 24- hour hotline at: 1-800 TIP IDNR
(800-847-4367), or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 317-346-7016. Callers can remain anonymous.

“To kill and abandon one of 500 remaining members of species shows a lack of reverence for life and an absence of simple common sense,” said John Christian, FWS Assistant Regional Director for Migratory Birds. “It is inconceivable that someone would have such little regard for conservation.”