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Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts

Cara J

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The Clash between Responsible Management and Perceptions Many people consider the annual migration of the sandhill crane an unrivaled spectacle of nature. Each year, more than 80 percent of the North American crane population converges on the Platte River in Nebraska. Their stopover in Kearny — the site of Audubon’s Nebraska Crane Festival — has earned the small town the title “Sandhill Crane Capital of the World.” Every year, the arrival of more than half a million birds in March draws thousands of visitors from around the world who are eager to witness this natural phenomenon. Although the cacophonous crane calls are cause for celebration in Kearny, the birds haven’t always been so popular elsewhere along their southern migration route. In New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley — where nearly 30,000 sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) and 50,000 snow geese (Chen caerulescens) spend the winter — farmers used to dread their arrival. Overwintering birds foraged on alfalfa, chili pepper and wheat, often devastating crops. The combination of the two — an iconic bird species and extensive agricultural damage — exemplifies the classic elements that create a human-wildlife conflict. A look at how wildlife professionals conduct their work when two sides of a [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/resolving-human-wildlife-conflicts/

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