Indiana Conservation Officers have partnered with Indiana Turn in a Poacher, Friends of Goose Pond, the International Crane Foundation, Operation Migration and the Center for Biological Diversity to offer a substantial reward of $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for killing female Whooping Crane number 4-11 in Greene County, Indiana in early January.
On January 3, 2017 an International Crane Foundation volunteer found the crane near Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. Her remains have been sent to the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for further testing.
In an effort to apprehend those responsible for the killing of the Whooping Crane, several conservation organizations have come together to offer a sizable reward.
“Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area is a winter home for up to 25% of the entire eastern Whooping Crane population,” said Dane Strahle, Friends of Goose Pond President. We strongly support the efforts to find the person(s) responsible for this killing.”
Friends of Goose Pond’s board members are offering a $2,500 reward. The International Crane Foundation has committed to offer a $1,000 toward the reward. Indiana Turn in a Poacher is adding an additional $500.
“Poaching is referred to as theft of our precious natural resources,” said Joe Cales, Turn in a Poacher President. “As citizens of Indiana, we do not tolerate the unlawful taking of our fish, wildlife or natural resources, and we stand firmly against those who do.”
An additional $2,500 is being offered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for information leading to conviction.
Whooping crane 4-11 initially learned a migration route by following the ultralight aircraft of Operation Migration.
“Reintroducing an endangered species takes money, hard work, luck and expertise. I was privileged to fly alongside #4-11 and to help teach her to migrate. She survived on her own and made five trips south in the fall and back north in the spring. She found a mate and even produced a chick. Then to have someone waste all that time, effort and such a beautiful bird for nothing more that the pleasure of the kill is a selfish, wasteful tragedy”, said Operation Migration CEO, Joe Duff.
This breeding female Whooping Crane killed in Greene County was part of an effort by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership to establish an eastern migratory flock which travels between Wisconsin and the southeast U.S. This migration path crosses through Indiana, with a number of Whooping Cranes often stopping at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area.
Indiana Conservation Officers are collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate this crime.
“Conservation Law Enforcement is our mission”, said Danny L. East, Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Director. “With the assistance of our conservation partners and our citizens, we remain confident that we will bring closure to this case.”
If you have information about this case please contact the Indiana Conservation Officer Dispatch at 812-837-9536.
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