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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne & Monroe Counties Michigan

Save the Cranes

Natural Resources Commission to Designate Sandhill Cranes as a Game Species

One hundred years ago, Michigan’s sandhill crane population was near extinction due to hunting and diminishing wetland habitats. The bird’s population recovered at a very slow pace and still remains vulnerable. Now, the Michigan Senate Natural Resources Committee has voted to pass SR 30, urging the Natural Resources Commission to designate sandhill cranes as a game species and to open a hunting season on them.

Tanya Hilgendorf, president and CEO of the Humane Society of Huron Valley, says, “Instead of celebrating a successful conservation effort, SR 30 seeks to destroy it! The hunting of sandhill cranes serves no wildlife management purpose, does not prevent crop conflict and reverses conservation efforts by orphaning still-dependent young. There is no justification for destroying families of a still-recovering species.”

Chicks are hatched in late spring, but are dependent on both parents well into and past the fall hunting season. If Michigan hunts sandhill cranes before they migrate to wintering grounds, either parent could be killed.

There is no evidence that hunting sandhill cranes would reduce damage to crops. Farmers can already obtain non-lethal, more effective deterrent products to make their seeds unpalatable to birds or as a last resort, request a permit to lethally remove sandhill cranes when necessary.

Contact your Michigan senators via and ask them to vote no on SR 30 to open a hunting season on sandhill cranes.