- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Father Hupp Wildlife Management Area in Thayer County has been temporarily closed due to the presence of six endangered whooping cranes.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission spokesman Jerry Kane says the closure will be lifted when the cranes leave the area.

He says the closure is standard procedure for the commission when whooping cranes are confirmed on property the agency owns or manages.

The birds’ total wild population of about 300 individuals migrates through Nebraska each fall and spring between wintering sites along the Texas coast and breeding areas in northern Alberta. They are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act and the Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act.

Penalties for killing, possessing or harassing whooping cranes may include fines of up to $50,000, up to a year in jail, or both.

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