Wildlife

Friends of the Whooping Cranes Volume 3 Issue 1

 
Dear Friend of the Whooping Cranes-
 
Please find the latest edition of our newsletter linked below.
 
We appreciate your continued interest and support. Happy New Year 2014 to all of you.

 

Shooting Range Safety Zones Established on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 11/22/2013

Nov. 22, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Wildlife Division has established and enhanced safety zones surrounding shooting ranges on three Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

The affected WMAs include Bodcau, Pearl River and Sherburne WMAs. The Woodworth Shooting Range within Alexander State Forest WMA already had a designated safety zone established.

The Department wants to remind the public to consult with your local LDWF field office for hours of operation and rules on all WMA ranges and rules.  Information and maps for individual ranges as well as the associated safety zones may also be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/shooting-ranges.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Wildlife Management Area Program is charged with providing necessary habitats to manage and protect both game and non-game wildlife, as well as to provide quality outdoor recreation for the public.

For more information: visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, at www.facebook.com/ldwffb; on Twitter @LDWF; or by contacting Steve Smith at ssmith@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2359; or Fred Kimmel at fkimmel@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2355.

Youth and the Outdoors: Recognition Programs

Youth Hunter Registry Program / Youth Hunters of the Year

The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Deer Program are encouraging youth hunters 15 years of age or younger to participate in the Youth Hunter Registry. 

Youth hunters can also enter the Youth Hunter of the Year contest. The contest requires youth hunters to submit a story about their hunting experience along with photographs of the hunt. LOWA and LDWF will then select a male and female youth hunter of the year based upon the stories and photos that are received. 

 

LOWA Youth Journalism Contest

The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association holds an annual Youth Journalism Contest. 

Open to all youths, 18 and under, the contest is designed to stimulate an interest in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and most outdoor activities--and the ability to communicate this interest to the public.

This highly-popular contest attracts entrants from all over Louisiana and neighboring states, and is lauded by educators statewide as an effective youth literacy project.

The contest has three categories consisting of Senior Essay (14-18 YOA), Junior Essay (13 YOA and under), and Photography (18 YOA and under) and features cash prizes donated by the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Club International.

Awards are given in 1st through 4th place in each category, and the winning students will be recognized by LOWA at the annual conference banquet which is usually held yearly in August.  Additionally, the winning entries will be published on the LOWA and LDWF websites, as well as in publications and on websites across the state.

Entries accepted from the beginning of each fall hunting season through May.

For more information, visit www.laoutdoorwriters.com or www.2theadvocate.com/sports/outdoors

 

Food Plot Workshop Set for Aug. 24 in Abbeville

Release Date: 08/14/2013

 
Aug. 14, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, National Wild Turkey Federation, LSU Ag Center, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Tractor Supply Company will present a Food Plot Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 24 in Abbeville, La.
 
The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tractor Supply Company store located at 3410 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville.  This event is free and open to the public, and lunch will be provided by Future Farmers of America.
 
A panel discussion will begin at 10 a.m. with topics including planting recommendations, benefits of wildlife food plots, land management programs available to the public and more.
The event will also offer information stations, vendor booths, a food plot demonstration area, and activities for kids.  Vendors will include Plot Spike, Wild Game, Record Rack and others.
  
For more information, contact LDWF Private Lands biologist Kori Legleu in the Lake Charles field office at 337-491-2575 or klegleu@wlf.la.gov .
 
 
 

Reward Increases to $15,000 for Shooting Death of Whooping Crane

Release Date: 06/27/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are still looking for leads regarding a whooping crane that was found shot to death in Red River Parish in April.

The Humane Society of the United States and the The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering $5,000, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation is offering $3,800, LDWF’s Operation Game Thief Program is offering $1,000, the USFWS is offering $1,000, the Whooping Crane Conservation Association is offering $1,000, John Perilloux is offering $1,000, anonymous donors are offering $1,250, the International Crane Foundation, through the restitution money from the South Dakota whooping crane shooting case, is offering $500, the Audubon Nature Institute is offering $250, and the Louisiana Ornithological Society is offering $200.

This brings the total in rewards to $15,000 for anybody that has any information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

LDWF Whooping Crane Biologist Sara Zimorski said, “We have a lot of people and organizations that are very serious about making sure the person that shot this crane is punished for his or her actions.  By increasing the reward amount, we are very hopeful that it will also increase the incentive for anybody with information regarding the shooting of this whooping crane to come forward.”

If any group or person wants to donate funds to increase the reward amount, please contact LDWF Biologist Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400 ext. 4.

To report any information regarding this whooping crane shooting, please call 1-800-442-2511.

The whooping crane was found and recovered from the bank of the Red River about two miles northwest of Loggy Bayou on April 16.  After a necropsy of the crane, it was determined that the bird was shot with a 6.5mm/.264 caliber projectile.

Investigators believe the bird was shot between April 10 and 14.  The whooping crane was a part of LDWF's whooping crane reintroduction program and was fitted with a GPS tracking device.  The last tracking point of the crane moving was on April 10 near where she was eventually found dead on April 16.  The last tracking point received was on April 14 at the location she was found.

This whooping crane was released in Louisiana on March 14, 2011.

LDWF has released 40 whooping cranes since 2011 and currently have 25 whooping cranes they are tracking.  This is the third whooping crane that has been found shot with the previous two having been shot in Jefferson Davis Parish in October of 2011.

The reintroduced whooping cranes came from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD, and they were placed in the coastal marsh of Vermilion Parish within LDWF’s White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).  This reintroduced population marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.

LDWF is working cooperatively with the USFWS, USGS, and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to bring the species back to the state.  This non-migratory flock of whooping cranes is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is still protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Up to $3,000 in Reward Money Offered for Information in Whooping Crane Shooting

Release Date: 05/17/2013

May 17, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are looking for leads regarding a whooping crane that was found shot to death in Red River Parish.

The whooping crane was found and recovered from the bank of the Red River about two miles northwest of Loggy Bayou on April 16.  After a necropsy of the crane, it was determined that the bird was shot with a 6.5mm/.264 caliber projectile.

Investigators believe the bird was shot between April 10 and 14.  The whooping crane was a part of LDWF's whooping crane reintroduction program and was fitted with a GPS tracking device.  The last tracking point of the crane moving was on April 10 near where she was eventually found dead on April 16.  The last tracking point received was on April 14 at the location she was found.

This whooping crane was released in Louisiana on March 14, 2011.

LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the USFWS are each offering up to $1,000 in rewards for a total of up to $3,000 in rewards for any information about this illegal shooting that leads to an arrest.  To report any information regarding this whooping crane shooting, please call 1-800-442-2511.

“Anytime we lose one of these cranes it sets us back in our efforts to restore the whooping crane population back to its historic levels in Louisiana,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “These were once native birds to Louisiana and the department would like to see these cranes thrive again in the future with a sustainable population.”

USFWS Office of Law Enforcement for the Southeast Region Special Agent in Charge Luis Santiago said, "The shooting of this whooping crane is an insult to all law abiding hunters.  We ask the public to please share any information that will lead us to the shooter.”

LDWF has released 40 whooping cranes since 2011 and currently have 25 whooping cranes they are tracking.  This is the third whooping crane that has been found shot with the previous two having been shot in Jefferson Davis Parish in October of 2011.

The re-introduced whooping cranes came from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and they were placed in the coastal marsh of Vermilion Parish within LDWF’s White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).  This re-introduced population marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.

LDWF is working cooperatively with the USFWS, USGS, the International Crane Foundation and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to bring the species back to the state.  This non-migratory flock of whooping cranes is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Whooping cranes, the most endangered of all of the world’s crane species, were first added to the federal status of an endangered species on March 11, 1967.

Historically, both a resident and migratory population of whooping cranes were present in Louisiana through the early 1940s.  Whooping cranes inhabited the marshes and ridges of the state’s southwest Chenier Coastal Plain, as well as the uplands of prairie terrace habitat to the north.  Within this area, whooping cranes used three major habitats: tall grass prairie, freshwater marsh, and brackish/salt marsh.  The Louisiana crane population was not able to withstand the pressure of human encroachment, primarily the conversion of nesting habitat to agricultural acreage, as well as hunting and specimen collection, which also occurred across North America.  The last bird in southwest Louisiana was removed to a sanctuary in 1950.

The only self-sustaining wild population of whooping cranes migrates between Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.  Multiple efforts are underway to bring this bird further along its path to recovery.  This includes increasing populations in the wild, ongoing efforts to establish a migratory population in the eastern United States, and establishing a resident population in Louisiana.

There are about 600 whooping cranes left in the world with 421 of those cranes living in the wild.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

L.D.W.F. Announces Bid Process for Alligator Hunting on WMAs and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Properties for the 2013-2015 Alligator Harvest Seasons

Release Date: 05/09/2013

May 9, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be accepting bids for alligator hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) properties for the 2013-2015 alligator harvest seasons.  Eligible alligator hunters are chosen through a bid system every three years on selected WMAs/USACOE properties.
 
Bids for alligator hunting will be solicited for the following WMAs and USACOE properties: Grassy Lake, Spring Bayou, and Pomme de Terre (Avoyelles Parish), Attakapas (Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary Parishes), Sherburne - USACOE Lands (Iberville, Pointe Coupee and St. Martin Parishes), Dewey Wills (La Salle and Catahoula Parishes), Manchac (St. John Parish), Pearl River - North of Interstate 10,  Pearl River - Between Interstate 10 and US Hwy 90 and Pearl River - South of US Hwy 90 (St. Tammany Parish), Joyce (Tangipahoa Parish), Maurepas Swamp (St. John, St. James, Ascension, Livingston and Tangipahoa Parishes), Indian Bayou - USACOE property (St. Landry and St. Martin Parishes), Atchafalaya Delta (St. Mary Parish), Pointe-aux-Chenes (Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes), Salvador (St. Charles Parish) and Pass-a-Loutre (Plaquemines Parish).
 
A total of 29 alligator hunting opportunities are available for bid on 13 WMAs and 2 USACOE properties.  The number of alligator tags that will be issued to successful bidders in 2013 will range from 12 to 83 tags depending on area awarded.  For specific details on the number of alligator hunter opportunities and tags available by area, please see the public notice or bid application notification. 
 
Interested participants may review and print out the public notice and bid application notifications and forms from LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/alligator-hunting, or request by phone at the phone numbers below, or request in writing from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 2013-2015 WMA Alligator Harvest Bids, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, La. 70898-9000.
 
If additional information is needed, please call the appropriate LDWF office (Hammond 985-543-4777, Opelousas 337-948-0255, Monroe 318-343-4044, New Iberia 337-373-0032, New Orleans 504-284-5264) or send email to LAalligatorprogram@wlf.la.gov.
 
NO guiding/outfitting activities for sport alligator hunting will be allowed while conducting alligator harvest activities on WMAs/USACOE properties.  Selected hunters will not be allowed to participate in any television or reality show production.  Any video activity must be specifically approved by the Alligator Program Manager.
 
An individual can apply and bid on more than one WMA/USACOE property but will only be selected for one WMA/USACOE property.  Bidders applying for more than one area must fill out individual applications for each WMA/USACOE property.  Only one winner allowed per household.
 
Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to submit a bid:

  1. Applicants must be a Louisiana resident at least 18 years of age.
  2. Evidence of previous alligator hunting experience in Louisiana.
  3. Ownership of or access to essential equipment for alligator hunting on the WMA/USACOE property they are bidding on.
  4. Each applicant must be able to report to the WMA/USACOE property each morning until alligator tag quota is completed.
  5. Ability to follow specific instructions issued by Department personnel.
  6. Ability to maintain required records.
  7. All applicants will be screened for past wildlife and criminal violations.  Applicants with felony convictions or with Class Two or above wildlife convictions, WMA/USACOE violations or littering within the last five years, as determined by the Enforcement Division, shall be disqualified.

 
Completed bid application forms must be received by 10 a.m. on June 13, 2013 in Room 240 of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La. 70898.
 
Bid opening will be held at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building, 4th Floor Conference Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.  Winning bidders will be notified of selection by phone and are required to come in and sign a contract at a later date.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reserves the right to reject any and all bids.
 
For more information, contact Lance Campbell at 337-373-0032 or ljcampbell@wlf.la.gov.

Waddill Education Center to Host Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest

Release Date: 10/16/2012

Oct. 16, 2012 -- The contest to decide the winning design for the 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Waddill Wildlife Refuge and Education Center.  The Waddill Wildlife Refuge and Education Center is located at 4142 N. Flannery Rd. in Baton Rouge.

Competing paintings will be on display starting at 9 a.m. in the Education Building and judging will begin at 10 a.m.  The contest is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend.

The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988 to generate revenues for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana.  During the last 22 years, over $10 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $5 million spent on land acquisition.

In addition, revenues have supported wetland development projects on Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited and the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.

The Louisiana Duck Stamp contest has traditionally attracted high-quality artwork from across the country as evidenced by the outstanding designs that have graced our annual Waterfowl Conservation stamps.

Judges include professional waterfowl biologists, artists, and art dealers with expertise in waterfowl morphology and habitat as well as artistic methods and style that combine to create a beautiful stamp.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for D’Arbonne Lake

Release Date: 05/22/2012

(May 22, 2012) – The water control structure on D’Arbonne Lake near Farmerville will be opened soon after Labor Day to conduct a lake drawdown.  The lake will be lowered five feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until December 15, 2012.

This action is taken in coordination with the Bayou D’Arbonne Lake Watershed District to allow for shoreline maintenance and to assist with the control of nuisance aquatic vegetation. 

D’Arbonne Lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of anglers as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 343-4044.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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