Quivira hunting proposal worries conservationists

STAFFORD, Kan. (AP) — Conservationists are raising concerns that a proposal to expand hunting at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge could endanger whooping cranes that migrate through the south-central Kansas refuge.

Currently, the refuge is closed when the whooping cranes, which are an endangered species, stop on their annual migration.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering allowing hunting when the cranes are at Quivira but put areas the birds are known to frequent off limits. There’s also interest in allowing deer and turkey hunting at the refuge, which currently is banned.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports (http://bit.ly/10qtrhT ) conservationists say the changes but the whooping cranes at risk, and would change the purpose of the refuge to accommodate hunting.

There are only about 600 whooping cranes remaining in the world.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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