North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Gomez, Gay M. "Whooping Cranes in Southwest Louisiana: History and Human Attitudes.", In: Stahlecker D. W., ed. 1992. Proceedings of the Sixth North American Crane Workshop, Oct. 3-5, 1991, Regina, Sask. (Grand Island, NE.: North American Crane Working Group, 1992), 19-23.


Conference co-sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatchewan Parks and Renewable Resources Department, and the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, Canadian Council. Proceedings used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


When whooping cranes (Grus americana) inhabited southwest Louisiana's coastal marshes, residents viewed them as a food source and a crop pest, and shooting was commonplace. Local attitudes have changed as a result of education, stricter law enforcement, and decreased dependence on wildlife for subsistence, but hunting remains widespread. A 1977 proposal to reintroduce whooping cranes to southwest Louisiana generated strong opposition from the Louisiana Wild Life and Fisheries Commission (now Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries), based on concerns about critical habitat and its likely impact on waterfowl hunting and other traditional marsh uses. These concerns remain, though a recent change in departmental structure may lead to a more favorable attitude toward whooping crane reintroduction.