International Crane Foundation


Black-necked Crane Migration Study

Eurasia: China Program > Research > Black-necked Crane Migration Study

ICF is partnering with researchers in China to conduct a multi-year Black-necked Crane migration and ecology study in southwest China. Recent efforts to survey the species by ICF and the Yunnan Forestry Department have provided more information on the species’ population in this region. Less is known, however, about the migration routes and stop-over sites used by the species.

In late winter 2005, four Black-necked Cranes were captured and banded with satellite transmitters at Dashanbao Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province. Three additional birds were banded at Dashanbao in winter 2006, and one bird was banded at Cao Hai Nature Reserve in Guizhou Province. Six of the cranes were tracked to their summering area at the Ruoegai Marshes in northern Sichuan Province (click on the link below to view a map of the 2005-2007 migration study results). In winters 2009-2010 five additional Black-necked Cranes were banded at Napahai Nature Reserve in northwest Yunnan Province and tracked to their summering areas in western Sichuan Province (click here to read an update on the research results).
Through these studies researchers are learning more about the Black-necked Crane’s migration routes and important staging, stop-over, and nesting locations. Researchers have also conducted ecology and population studies of the migrating cranes, examining the habitat used by the cranes along their migration routes and at their breeding and wintering areas, as well as surveying the number of individuals at specific sites. These studies provide valuable data for determining the conservation needs of the species and the development of future management plans.

The research activities are complimented by education activities for local communities, including student environmental camps and the development of school curricula focusing on Black-necked Crane and wetland conservation.

Black-necked Crane migration study 2005-2007 (404.66 KB)

Location: Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces
Partners: National Bird Banding Center of China, Yunnan Forestry Department, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Yunnan Normal University, Shangri-la County Forestry Bureau, China Exploration and Research Society, Dashanbao, Napahai, Ruoergai and Cao Hai Nature Reserves
Focus: Migration Study, Wintering and Breeding Ecology Studies
Funding: Mr. Sam Evans, Hamill Family Foundation, The Gordon and Shirley Rock Family, China Exploration and Research Society
Year Initiated: 2004

Black Neck Crane
Black-necked Cranes at Cao Hai Nature Reserve, Guizhou Province.

Click here to view a listing of China Program publications on Black-necked Crane research.