Events | International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation



Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference @ Online
Apr 20 all-day

Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with a unique online conference hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. The 2020 conference, Earth [email protected]: Aspiring for Sustainability, Striving for Justice, Crafting the Planet, will set the stage for a convergence between the past and present. Learn more about the conference.

A Long and Narrow Flyway: The Last Wild Whooping Crane Population
Apr 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by Mike Sloat

Join us for our third webinar with North America Programs Director Elizabeth H. Smith, Ph.D. on Thursday, April 23, at 11 a.m. Central time. Sponsored by Ann Hamilton on behalf of the Texas Crane Council

Whooping Cranes are the rarest species of crane in the world, declining to only 16 birds in 1941 in North America. One of the first species registered on the Endanger Species List in 1972, their numbers have increased to over 500 in the last naturally wild population. These cranes migrate 2,500 miles each spring and fall between Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada, and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas. Their narrow migration corridor is less than 200 miles wide and encompasses three provinces and six states through the Great Plains of North America.

To develop conservation recovery strategies in the migration corridor, many key questions should be addressed: how long does migration take, where do the birds stop each night, how many fly together, what are the hazards and challenges? Join us as we “migrate” with the Whooping Cranes and discover how we can help ensure that this iconic species continues to recover. Click here to register.

From Russia with Love: The Siberian Crane Story
Apr 30 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by Zheng Zhongjie

Join us for our fourth webinar with Vice President International Asia Spike Millington on Thursday, April 30, at 11 a.m. Central time. Sponsored by Jan and Tom Hoffmann, International Crane Foundation Emeritus Director.

Forty years ago, two populations of the Critically Endangered Siberian Crane existed. Both nested in Arctic Russia, but the western population migrated to India and to Iran, while the eastern population migrated to China. Today, only one bird, named Omid, remains in the western flyway, migrating to Iran each winter. The eastern population, though, is thriving and numbers over 4,500 individuals. The International Crane Foundation has supported Siberian Crane conservation for more than 20 years, through the support of the UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane project and more recently with support from the Disney Conservation Fund.

Despite the increasing numbers, the fate of these cranes remains precarious, since they depend on a limited network of critical sites for breeding, staging and wintering. In each area, a fascinating interplay of dynamic environmental and human processes determines the pattern of migration, behavior and ecology. This webinar will hear from International Crane Foundation staff and colleagues in the US, Russia and China about our joint efforts to conserve this charismatic bird. Click here to register.

Travels and Traditions of Sandhill Cranes
May 7 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
From the Field webinar series

Photo by Joe Galkowski

Join us for our fifth From the Field webinar with Gary Ivey, Research Associate – Pacific Flyway Program, on Thursday, May 7, at 11 a.m. Central time. Sponsored by Anne and Hall Healy.

Gary will talk about the various groups and subspecies of glorious Sandhill Cranes that share this planet with us. He will talk about their history and persecution during American settlement, their recovery, their distribution across the world, breeding, migration and wintering ecology. In addition, he will share specifics about populations using the Pacific Flyway. Mark your calendars now to join us, to hear Gary tell delightful crane stories. Click here to register.

Cranes, Climate Change and COVID-19 – Lessons for Saving a Beloved Family of Birds, Ourselves and Our World
May 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by K.S. Gopi Sundar

Join us for our webinar with Rich Beilfuss, President and CEO, on Thursday, May 14, at 11 a.m. Central time. Sponsored anonymously in honor of Dr. Liz Smith and her work with Whooping Cranes.

Cranes are among the most loved, and most endangered, families of birds in the world. With their cultural significance, high visibility, extraordinary beauty, dramatic migrations and striking behavior, cranes inspire caring and action.  Yet cranes are in trouble across large parts of Asia, Africa and North America, and are highly vulnerable to climate change—especially in the places where unsustainable land and water development is already taking a toll on biodiversity. Understanding the serious threat of global warming to cranes and the wild places they depend on helps us better understand how our changing climate will affect people and wildlife on a global scale.

The COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us that if we wait to see the full impact of a crisis before taking action, it is much more difficult and costly to stop it. We also are learning that the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society suffer the worst impacts of the crisis. The climate change crisis is no different.  Fortunately, there is much we can learn from decades of crane conservation efforts. Through our work with the communities who share their lands with cranes, we have focused on solutions to climate change that improve land and water management, increase community resiliency and provide real livelihood alternatives for the people most affected. Click here to register.

How Wetland Management in the U.S. Helps Cranes in China
May 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Photo by Zheng Zhongjie

Join us for our webinar with Guo Zhiwei, China Program Officer, on Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m. Central Time. Sponsored by Barbi and Tom Donnelley, Emeritus Board Director. In honor of Jim Harris.

Wetlands in Northeast China provide vital breeding and staging sites for cranes in an otherwise arid landscape with many human pressures, leading to degradation and site disconnection along flyways. To learn from the U.S. experience in similar situations, Guo spent one month in 2019 at the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex studying wetland ecology and management skills.

How can we naturally manage altered wetlands to provide refuge for migratory birds? The wetland ecologists in the Klamath Basin do an excellent job of managing wetlands under these conditions. In this webinar, Guo will share stories about his training and how he is applying these lessons to critical wetlands in China that support several species of cranes. Wetland management experts will add insights into this issue. Click here to register.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Whooping Crane! The Successes and Challenges of Reintroducing Whooping Cranes
May 28 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for our webinar with Hillary Thompson, North America Program Crane Analyst, on Thursday, May 28, at 11 a.m. Central Time!

Whooping Cranes are the rarest species of crane in the world. There are approximately 665 Whooping Cranes in North America, in one wild and two reintroduced populations. One of these reintroduced populations is known as the Eastern Migratory Population, which summers in Wisconsin, and winters in the southeastern United States. The first cohort of captive-reared cranes released into this population was raised in 2001 by costumed caretakers and taught to follow an ultralight aircraft from Wisconsin to their wintering home in Gulf Coastal Florida.

Since that inaugural flight south in 2001, we have released around 300 Whooping Cranes into the eastern U.S., have changed our rearing and release methods, and have had wild-hatched chicks fledge! The reintroduction effort is ongoing, and we are learning new things about Whooping Cranes and reintroduction techniques along the way. Please join us for stories about this reintroduced population of Endangered Whooping Cranes, an update on how the population is doing today and what we hope to see in the future. Click here to register.

The Health of Cranes: Avian Medicine in Conservation
Jun 4 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by Mark Bidwell

Join us for our webinar with Dr. Barry Hartup, Director of Conservation Medicine, on Thursday, June 4, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Sponsored by Heidi Kiesler and Family.

How do you safely capture an endangered whooping crane in a salt marsh? How do you know when a bird — let alone a large one such as a crane — is not feeling well? How can veterinary medicine and conservation combine for the betterment of endangered wildlife and the people who share their ecosystems?

Dr. Barry Hartup has made the care of the world’s 15 crane species his exclusive practice. In his presentation, Dr. Hartup will show how he has conducted his work for over 20 years for the International Crane Foundation with assistance from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and partners from Africa, East Asia and North America.

Dr. Hartup has worked extensively with the reintroduction of the Whooping Crane to Wisconsin and the Eastern U.S., and undertaken field studies of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo Whooping Crane population to assess its health and threats to its recovery. He also has supported Grey Crowned Crane recovery in Rwanda and captive crane health networks in China. Working at the International Crane Foundation has helped Dr. Hartup to fulfill his professional interests in veterinary medicine, wildlife health and epidemiology, and conservation of endangered species. Click here to register.

Facebook Live Event: Tell me a story…all about cranes!
Jun 11 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Cranes have been celebrated in the stories of many different cultures from around the world. Join us on Thursday, June 11, at 10 a.m. Central Time as we tell stories about cranes and share updates on our ongoing headquarters’ renovations. This is a virtual/online program presented on Facebook Live on the Baraboo Public Library Facebook page.

Cranes, Kafue Lechwe, Communities and Conservation of the Kafue Flats
Jun 11 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by Griffin Shanungu

Join us for our webinar with Rich Beilfuss, President and CEO; Griffin Shanungu, Zambia Country Coordinator; and Mwape SichilongoSouthern African Floodplains Regional Manageron Thursday, June 11, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Sponsored by Jeanne and Ed Eloranta. In honor of the Kasoma Family: Zachary, Emily, Tessa and Caleb of Lusaka, Zambia. Click here to register.

The Kafue Flats in Zambia is one of the most important wetlands in the world, home to a third of the world’s Wattled Cranes, endangered Kafue Lechwe, hippo, buffalo and other big mammals, and more than 470 bird species. For millennia, the ecological health of the flats was maintained by communities who depend on the region for fishing, grazing their livestock, and other resources.

In recent decades, however, the flats have been severely degraded by dams, mining, large commercial agriculture, invasive species and increasing human settlements. In response, the International Crane Foundation and WWF-Zambia have joined the Government of the Republic of Zambia in a 20-year agreement to manage and restore the Kafue Flats, including two National Parks surrounded by a large Game Management Area. Presenters share their vision for the future of the Kafue Flats as a “thriving wetland for all” that sustains rich biodiversity and strong, healthy communities with sustainable livelihoods.

During this webinar, the trio will discuss the root causes of environmental change on the flats and what we can do about it. They also will share lessons from our successful project to remove invasive shrubs from the floodplain, restore habitat for Wattled Cranes and Lechwe, and increase local employment and income. Please join Rich, Mwape and Griffin to learn how saving cranes is about so much more than saving cranes!