The International Crane Foundation
The International Crane Foundation seeks to help safeguard Africa's cranes through community-based research and conservation programs that benefit both people and wildlife. Throughout the world, cranes serve as important symbols for conservation. They are large and conspicuous “umbrella” species under which entire ecosystems may be protected. When people become concerned about the fate of cranes, they can take concrete steps towards conserving the wetlands and grasslands that serve, in part, as crane habitat.
The conservation of cranes in Africa depends on gaining accurate information about the status and distribution of cranes across the continent, empowering local ecologists to develop pro-active conservation programs for cranes and their habitats, and engaging governments, agencies, NGOs, and local communities in the sustainable management of wetlands and their catchments for the benefit of people and wildlife. To achieve these goals, we bring together diverse groups of people, from government and village leaders to engineers, anthropologists, and restoration ecologists, in a common cause. We recognize that real conservation will only be achieved if it becomes a priority of the people living with the cranes and sharing their rich habitats. To this end, we view ourselves as facilitators for our African colleagues, assisting them as needed with technical and management support and helping empower them through access to the international community of scientists, conservationists, and donors. Our programs seek to provide support and training for key individuals who will become the future conservation leaders of Africa, to conduct cutting-edge research on wetland restoration and watershed management in an African context, and to build a network of colleagues across Africa who will guide ICF and our partners in creating uniquely African solutions to conservation challenges.
African Crane Trade
A decade ago, ICF-supported surveys documented a drastic decline in Black Crowned Cranes. To our surprise, the chief cause was not habitat loss - although wetland areas for cranes have shrunk drastically in these areas along the southern margins of the Sahara - but the taking of cranes from the wild.
The Grey Crowned Crane of East Africa, which seemed numerous and secure 20 years ago, now shows significant declines in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.
In 2006, the African Crane Trade project was launched to address the problem and document the extent and potential impact of the crane trade on wild populations. Read more