Since late October, the numbers of Black-necked Cranes in the Phobjika Valley, Bhutan have increased as more birds made their migration over the Himalayas. By November 11, the date of the Fourth King’s Birthday and of the Crane Festival within the courtyard of the Gangtey Gompa (16th century Buddhist temple), there were 262. When I returned on November 19, there were about 350, about 10 percent of which were juveniles, an indication that all is well on the breeding grounds in Tibet. More cranes are expected. Last winter the highest count in the valley was 368. This winter we hope the number exceeds 400!Read more..
Travels with George
Together with ICF’s excellent colleague, Griffin Shanungu of the Zambia Wildlife Authroity, I recently had the privilege of spending four days in Lochinvar National Park (LNP) in central Zambia, a park that includes about 8 percent of the acreage of the vast Kafue Flats – a floodplain of the Kafue River and a major habitat for Wattled Cranes.Read more..
Riding on Bette Midler’s wings, The National Audubon Society soared last night, Jan. 17, at the Plaza Hotel in New York. For the first time, the organization awarded two of the nation’s most prestigious environmental honors on the same night: the inaugural Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership and the Audubon Medal.
George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, received the first Lufkin Prize and its $100,000 award, and philanthropist Louis Bacon received the esteemed Audubon Medal.Read more..
Our friendship began in the spring of 1977 when Ted, then US Ambassador to Afghanistan, helped Ron Sauey, co-founder with George of the International Crane Foundation, find the stopping point in Afghanistan of a flock of Siberian Cranes migrating from northern India to northern Siberia. The friendship has been renewed many times since 1977, most recently when George discovered a Siberian Crane and told Ted where to find it at the Gun Gaalut Reserve east of Ulaanbaater in June, 2012. We met at our ger (yurt) camp on the first night of George’s trip to eastern Mongolia and the last night of a two-week trip Ted was taking in the same area where he had not yet found any Siberian Cranes.Read more..
The following are notes from my October 27-November 8, 2012 visit to North Korea. I was the guest of North Korea’s foremost ornithologist, Dr. Park U Il of the State Academy of Sciences (SAOS), with whom ICF has been working since my first visit in 2008. From our base at the Pyongyang Hotel, we traveled to three important sites for Red-crowned Cranes.Read more..