Zachary Richard Supporting Whooping Crane Public Awareness Effort

Release Date: 02/10/2015

 
Feb. 10, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) new whooping crane public awareness television message will feature Louisiana singer-songwriter and environmentalist Zachary Richard.
 
In the 30-second television message, scheduled for distribution later this month, Richard emphasizes the importance of the whooping cranes’ return to Louisiana and advises the public to observe the birds from a distance. The message includes a number to call if anyone sees cranes being harmed -- the toll free 1-800-442-2511 LDWF Enforcement Division’s Operation Game Thief hotline.
 
The television spot announcements were funded by Chevron as part of a grant administered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF). Chevron has provided financial support for the department’s whooping crane reintroduction project since 2011.
 
“Zachary Richard’s support for this project is greatly appreciated and we hope his message furthers the department’s efforts to protect whooping cranes, especially during these critical early years of the reintroduction project,” said Robert Love, LDWF Coastal and Nongame Resources Division administrator. “The Chevron grant funding has been vital in getting this message out to the public.”
 
The whooping crane, a very vulnerable species, was found in south Louisiana until their decline during the late 1800s and early 1900s when little conservation ethic was in existence and conversion of prairies and marsh lands to agriculture acreage became a trend. Since 2011, LDWF has soft released 64 isolation-reared, juvenile cranes provided by the US Geological Survey Research Center in Patuxent, Md., into rural southwest Louisiana, and 40 survive today. Cranes in the experimental population that have not survived include those lost to disease, predator species and six birds killed in random shooting incidents.
 
In 2014, a breeding pair in Louisiana produced eggs in the wild for the first time in over 60 years. No chicks resulted in 2014, but project biologists are optimistic for 2015 since the mating pair has matured.
 
The recovery plan goal is for Louisiana to reach a subpopulation of 25-30 productive pairs, which translates to about 130 cranes in Louisiana. This process could take 15 to 20 years. To learn more about Louisiana’s whooping crane population and view the Zachary Richard public awareness message, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes . To contribute to the whooping crane project or any LDWF initiative, go to the LWFF website at http://lawff.org .

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/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For additional information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .