Ways to Help Whooping Cranes - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation

 

Ways to Help Whooping Cranes

← Hoosiers for Whoopers

Urgent Call to Action! Indiana Craniacs, please help cranes and all species that depend on wetlands (including humans) by contacting your state representative, and urging them to vote against Senate Bill 389.

Learn more about this threat to Indiana’s wetlands here. It is easy to contact your legislators – simply click here.

Whooping Cranes are an integral part of Indiana’s ecosystems. People can have a big impact on these cranes, so here are the five most important things you can do to help save the Whooping Crane! Are you a birder, hunter, or live near one of Indiana’s state fish and wildlife areas? Check out the sections below to learn more about protecting Whooping Cranes, the places they dance and your water supply!

  • Keep your distance! Stay 200 yards, or two football fields, away from Whooping Cranes in the wild.
  • Head up, wings up…back up! Observe Whooping Crane behavior. If they are alert and staring at you or their wings are up, you are disturbing them. Keep your distance.
  • Respect private property! Is the property private? Keep driving! Is the property public? Park in a designated parking area and keep your distance.
  • Save their tomorrow – report today! If you see someone harassing, disturbing or poaching Whooping Cranes call the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-TIP-IDNR.
  • Save the cranes and the places they dance! Contact your local and state legislators asking them to support the protection and conservation of wetlands. Then vote to support those who do.

We know you want that perfect picture of the rare Whooper. We do too! However, if capturing that picture involves someone else’s property, you do more harm than you intend. Through a survey conducted by Purdue University, it was found that locals were often disturbed by avid bird lovers’ presence on their property. This causes a negative association with the birds’ presence, and we know that is not what you want!

You love and respect Indiana wildlife. As a responsible hunter, you take pride in following the rules, regulations, and laws surrounding hunting in Indiana. There is no hunting season for Whooping Cranes nor Sandhill Cranes in Indiana, which look similar. As a federally endangered species, it is illegal to shoot Whooping Cranes.

Unfortunately, Indiana has one of the highest poaching rates of Whooping Cranes, likely due to intentional shooting by vandals rather than mistaking these birds for other species. You can help lower these numbers! Be their eyes and ears while you scout other species, listening to stories and watching for unethical behavior towards any species. Leave a legacy by being good stewards of the land.

Do you live near the Jasper-Pulaski or Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife areas? Lucky you! You live/work/play in one of the few areas of Indiana that Whooping Cranes frequent! The cities of Linton and Medaryville, Indiana, are very special indeed. Not only do you have the charm of the Midwest, but you have the opportunity to view a very rare bird in the wild. These birds are often spotted at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area (Medaryville) and the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area (Linton). Here you will find an observation deck, informative plaques and even built-in binoculars (Goose Pond only) to view the majestic Whooping Crane. But don’t forget your own binoculars or scope to view these elusive creatures!

Would you like to safely observe a rare Whooping Crane in Indiana but don’t know where to go? Indiana is home to two Fish and Wildlife Areas that serve as stopover points for migrating Whooping Cranes during spring and fall migration.

Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area (Medaryville) – Located in northwest Indiana, this property provides over 8,000 acres of suitable habitat for migratory birds. Sandhill Cranes are the predominant visitors, with up to 30,000 individuals per day during peak season, but there have been Whooping Crane sightings in the area also.

Jasper-Pulaski provides an observation deck with great viewing points and informational posters on both Whooping and Sandhill Cranes. Be sure to take the crane quizzes! Quiz yourself on Sandhill Crane trivia as you walk to the observation tower, then quiz yourself on what you have learned about Whooping Cranes as you walk back to the parking lot.

  • Get information on the best dates, times of the day to observe cranes and the latest crane counts here.
  • Get a map of the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area here. Please note the map indicates designated parking areas for observation.

Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area (Linton) – Located in southwest Indiana, this property provides the state’s best opportunity to observe a Whooping Crane during migration. There is a beautiful visitor’s center that provides a panoramic view of the property and includes binoculars and information on Whooping Cranes.

  • Get information on the best dates, times of the day to observe cranes and the latest crane counts here.
  • Get a map of Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area here. Please note the map indicates designated parking areas for observation.

Regardless of which property you visit, we hope you have a great experience looking for Whooping Cranes and other bird species.

The children of today are the decision-makers of tomorrow, and we need YOU to help ensure the success of Whoopers in the Hoosier State!

Check out these fun activities for kids:

Online puzzle

Word search

Crossword

Learn how to fold an origami crane