The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is considering opening a hunting season on sandhill cranes. Sandhills have been migrating through and wintering in Tennessee for many years now, and over time, their numbers have risen. There is a refuge here that has been set aside and improved for the sole purpose of making it attractive to cranes. In essence, the people of Tennessee have made a pact of safety and protection with this magnificent bird. A hunt will disrupt the colony and cause the decimation of many family units, which are so necessary for their continued recovery.
This petition will be sent directly to the chair of the TWRA Commission and will add a strong collective voice of public protest to the enactment of a crane hunt.
Please join us in this action by signing this petition before the TWRA Commission makes its decision on August 22, 2013.
Please do not start a crane hunt in Tennessee.
The sandhill cranes that visit Tennessee each year and which we are now considering hunting are amazing creatures. They are one of the oldest bird species, going back 14 million years. They are highly-evolved, mating for life, living in family units and having a lifespan of 20 years or more. Up until recently, cranes were on the verge of extinction due to overhunting and loss of habitat. It is only through extreme human effort and the crane’s own determination to adapt and persevere that they are now finally coming back.
If Tennessee decides to start hunting these creatures, this heroic and compassionate partnership will be broken with decimating consequences that extend beyond just the one bird that falls to a hunter’s bullet. Because it is mainly parents with young that stop in migratory staging areas such as Tennessee, each premature fatality caused by hunting likely means the devastation of an entire family.
There is no reason for a hunt. The sandhill cranes that visit our state cause no damage. Their cooked flesh will not save those who would otherwise starve. Hunting permits will bring only a little money to state coffers. This is an opportunity for Tennessee to show its wisdom and enlightenment to the rest of the country and world by saying no to a crane hunt and by declaring it a hunt-free zone.
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