I trust the Sandhill cranes will remain in “protected status” simply because their numbers here on the Island do not seem to justify any action to reduce their population for any reason! On my property and that of my neighbours, we have a cleared an area of five acres or more we call “the meadow.” We have cranes visiting us many days during the summer months, rarely more than three (adults and one juvenile) striding slowly through the grass picking up tender morsels of insects and seeds, but they seem to me to enhance the property, not cause damage.
I would be happy if, when the first one flies in of a midsummer morning, when the sun rises around 5 am, that they would turn down the volume on that squeaky hinge call of theirs but other than that, I’m of the live and let live persuasion.
The only time I see large congregations is in the early fall, well past harvest time and I would think the farmers there would be glad of them cleaning up whatever has fallen around the stubble. Even then, the gatherings only seem to occur for a day or two before the group all has its flight instructions and takes off for points south and warmer than here on the Island.
I hope the Canadian Wildlife Service, in conducting its survey, will be prepared to collect numbers on how many farmers are growing cereal crops and how many are using genetically-modified seed and spraying glyphosate products soon after germination, and close to harvesting to drench the crop and “improve” desiccation prior to the harvest.