Whooping Cranes shot. Someone has shot and killed 3 young whooping cranes. Hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours spent trying to reintroduce Whooping Cranes to an eastern flyway, and some idiot shoots 3 of them. There are only like a hundred of them on the eastern flyway. Last year, someone shot the female of one of the few breeding pairs in the group, and now this last year's hatch. Sickening. Subject: DAR JUVENILES SHOT IN GEORGIA Location: Main Office Georgia Department of Natural Resources reported that necropsy results revealed that the cause of death of the three Whooping Cranes found December 30, 2010 in Calhoun County, Georgia, was gunshot. An investigation is underway. The cranes, according to the landowner of the property where they were found by hunters, had been in the area for a few weeks. The deceased Whooping Cranes were part of a ten year effort of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) to reintroduce the species into the eastern United States. The three juveniles were released in Wisconsin in October 2010 with eight other first-year birds as part of the Direct Autumn Release (DAR) program operated by the Baraboo, Wisconsin based International Crane Foundation (ICF). The young DAR cranes generally follow older Whooping Cranes or Sandhill Cranes to learn a migration route south in search of suitable wintering habitat. The cranes were banded and equipped with transmitters and were not part of Operation Migrations ultralight-led migration reintroduction program. A reward will be posted for information leading to an arrest. OMs Board of Directors, via a special call, moved to make a contribution toward that reward. It was the Board of Directors feeling that it is important that Operation Migration demonstratively support both Whooping Cranes and project partner, the International Crane Foundation. said Board Chair, Paul Young Operation Migration CEO, Joe Duff, said, It is a bitter pill to swallow to have WCEPs efforts to safeguard the endangered Whooping Crane from extinction so callously disregarded. For this magnificent species with an already tenuous hold on survival, these mortalities are tragic. We can only hope the perpetrators of this reprehensible act can be identified so that appropriate justice can be meted out. US Fish & Wildlife Law Enforcement Special Agent Hasting asks that any individuals with knowledge of the shooting contact him at 404-763-7959.