About ICF

Sandhill Cranes gather during spring migration on the Platte River, Nebraska.
Photo by Tom Lynn/www.tomlynnphotography.com


International Crane Foundation Co-founders Ron Sauey and George Archibald (right) met in 1971 at Cornell University, where they studied ornithology and shared a passion for cranes. The young researchers envisioned an organization that would combine research, captive breeding and reintroduction, landscape restoration, and education to safeguard the world's 15 crane species. In 1973, with the generosity of the Sauey family and the use of their horse farm in Baraboo, Wisconsin, the International Crane Foundation was founded.

Over the past 40 years, ICF has developed unique collaborations and led effective community-based conservation programs, important research projects and innovative captive breeding and reintroduction efforts. These efforts have inspired international cooperation, helped improve livelihoods for people around the world, and lead to the protection of millions of acres of wetlands and grasslands on the five continents where cranes live.

In the United States, ICF advances efforts to better understand our native Sandhill Cranes, while helping reduce conflicts between cranes and farmers, and is working to restore a migratory population of the endangered Whooping Cranes to help protect this species from extinction.

Today, ICF maintains a 225-acre world headquarters near Baraboo, Wisconsin, visited by over 25,000 people annually (left). Our site hosts a captive flock of approximately 100 cranes, including the only complete collection of all 15 species assembled. The campus offers live crane exhibits, guided and self-guided tours, a research library, visitor center and over four miles of nature trails set among 100 acres of restored tall grass prairie, oak savanna and wetlands. Plan your visit.

ICF is a 501 c3 organization, and our success is possible solely through the generous support of our members and donors. ICF members receive free admission and tours of our headquarters in Wisconsin, subscriptions to our quarterly newsletter, The ICF Bugle, and monthly e-newsletter, Contact Call, and other benefits. Join our flock and become an ICF member!


ICF Introductory Film

symbols of survival300View our introductory film Cranes: Symbols of Survival to see ICF's programs in action. Purchase your own copy today.



The International Crane Foundation (ICF) works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. ICF provides knowledge, leadership, and inspiration to engage people in resolving threats to cranes and their diverse landscapes.

Photos by John Ford, Dave & Liz Smith, Huihe Crane Project