KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Kansas has extended the hours for hunting sandhill cranes, raising concern among conservationists who say the longer hours could imperil the endangered whooping crane.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism recently approved extending the hours for sandhill crane hunting from sunrise to sunset. The hours previously had been one half hour after sunrise until 2 p.m. The season runs from early November to early January.
Ron Klataske, director of the Audubon of Kansas, says the longer hours put the endangered whooping crane at risk because whooping cranes migrate through some of the same habitat in Kansas that the sandhill cranes use. Whooping cranes and sandhill cranes look similar.
Shooting a whooping crane can bring a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in prison.