Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Published in Human Dimensions of Wildlife 17 (2012), pp. 301–307; doi: 10.1080/10871209.2012.668610


Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Used by permission.


Trends in the mid-continent population of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) indicate that the species is increasing. A large proportion of this population winters in northern Mexico where possible conflicts between local inhabitants and cranes can occur. We conducted interviews of 40 rural inhabitants living near wetlands used by cranes in three Mexican states. All interviewees had knowledge of cranes and were capable of describing them. The arrival of cranes affected 43% of interviewees. The negative effects were mainly destroyed crops with a subsequent diminished production. Seventy percent of those affected implemented scare tactics to deter the birds, while others (15%) did nothing to mitigate crop losses and accepted such damages. While sandhill cranes continue to increase, conflicts with humans are expected to rise. Our results provide information about human attitudes toward cranes and can serve as the basis for future conservation guidelines.