Events | International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation



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!

Cranes and Artists – A Creative Dance
Jun 18 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Salute to the Dawn by Owen Gromme

Join us for our webinar with Kathy Foley, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Director, Catie Anderson, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Curator of Education, and Lizzie Condon, International Crane Foundation Whooping Crane Outreach Coordinator, on Thursday, June 18, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Sponsored anonymously by passionate crane and art enthusiasts. Click here to register.

 The Woodson Art Museum, located in Wausau, Wisconsin, is known worldwide for Birds in Art, an annual international juried exhibition featuring two-and three-dimensional artworks that draw inspiration from the avian world. “Indoor birdwatching” at its best. Woodson Art Museum Director Kathy Foley and Curator of Education Catie Anderson selected artworks from the Museum’s collection featuring cranes. Kathy and Catie will be your online guides, helping you to interpret and enjoy each artworkInternational Crane Foundation Whooping Crane Outreach Coordinator Lizzie Condon will be on hand to share biological and fun facts about cranes, while art museum staff share stories about artists’ efforts on behalf of crane conservation.

Africa’s Iconic Crowned Cranes – Securing their Future in the Wild
Jun 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by Daniel Dolpire

Join us for our webinar with Kerryn Morrison, Vice President International: Director of Africa, on Thursday, June 25, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Click here to register.

Icons of Africa, Grey Crowned and Black Crowned Cranes are sought across the world for their beauty and charisma, adding value to captive collections and adorning homesteads, restaurants and hotels.  Taken from the wild as chicks, these cranes are domesticated as time pieces or status symbols in countries across Africa or moved through market chains across the world.  Sadly, this wild-caught trade has become a key driver in their decline, significantly added to as chicks become increasingly accessible as wetlands are degraded and fragmented.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rocks the world and global discussions focus on wet markets and bushmeat, one wonders whether the captive trade will come too into the spotlight, and provide an opportunity now to focus on and reduce the threat of live captive trade. Having focused on this since 1998, we have made significant progress over the years on several fronts. But as a complex, ever-changing issue, there is still a lot more to understand and strategies that we need to explore and implement to address the issue effectively. As a flagship species for many other birds, small mammals and reptiles in the illegal captive trade, can we now use the charisma and iconic status of these cranes to address the very reason that they are currently in decline?

Cranes in the Rice Zone: Sarus Crane Conservation in Southeast Asia
Jul 2 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by Daren Diserens

Join us for our webinar with Tran Triet, Southeast Asia Program Coordinator, on Thursday, July 2, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Click here to register.

Standing up to six feet tall, the Sarus Crane is the world’s tallest flying bird. Sarus Cranes occur across India, Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. In Southeast Asia, we focus on the Eastern Sarus Crane subspecies that depend on wetlands in three large river systems: the Mekong, the Chao Praya and the Irrawaddy. These regions are also important rice production areas of the world with several countries among the world’s top ten rice exporters. Expansion of agricultural lands, mainly for rice cultivation, and intensive rice farming practices have reduced areas of natural wetlands and degraded the quality of aquatic environments, causing adverse impacts on not only Sarus Cranes but also wetland biodiversity in general.

In this webinar, we will present how the International Crane Foundation has worked with conservation partners and local communities in Southeast Asia to conserve Sarus Cranes over the past three decades, in a landscape that is densely populated and intensively farmed. We will showcase how we developed an award-winning project in Vietnam that saved wetlands and contributed to the wellbeing of local communities. We will also discuss how we created a network of 24 universities and hundreds of wetland practitioners across the region and how we are replicating and expanding these successful models for crane conservation in Myanmar.

Decades of Discovery – Dancing with Whooping Cranes
Jul 9 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for our webinar with George Archibald, Co-founder, on Thursday, July 9, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Click here to register.

In the spring of 1982, there were less than 100 Whooping Cranes left in the wild. That year, I spent countless hours living and dancing with a female Whooping Crane named Tex, who was hopelessly imprinted on humans. I knew I had to try to save her genetic legacy by getting her to lay an egg. She responded and eventually laid a fertile egg. When it hatched, the chick was named Gee Whiz, and he carried the precious genetic treasure from his mother. Now at 38 years old, Gee Whiz lives at the International Crane Foundation and is the founder of many generations of Whooping Cranes.

The International Crane Foundation has been a leader in the historic effort to re-establish Whooping Cranes in the middle of the United States. This population now numbers about 100 birds that breed in Wisconsin and migrate each year to winter across the southern United States.

This spring, three young Whooping Cranes established a territory in a marsh less than ten miles from my home in Wisconsin. They spent the spring sorting out their relationships, nesting and hatching a chick! From mid-March through the summer of 2020, I studied the breeding behavior of these Whooping Cranes and their interactions with five breeding pairs of Sandhills in this wetland. It was fascinating that I was able to connect what I learned all those years ago with Tex with what I observed in these freely living birds. Please join me as I share my joy in the lessons these birds continue to teach me.

Cranes, Communities and Agriculture – Opportunities for Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula
Jul 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Photo by Martin Cooper

Join us for our webinar with Vice President and Director of Asia Program Spike Millington, Emeritus Board Director Hall Healy, Seoul National University Research Fellow Dr. Joo Yoonjung and conservationist Dr. Lee Kisup on Thursday, July 16, at 7 p.m. Central Time. Click here to register.

Traditional rice agriculture in Korea has long supported wintering populations of Endangered Red-crowned Cranes and, increasingly, Vulnerable White-naped Cranes, providing refuge for the entire western populations of these beautiful birds. Current and historical relations between the two Koreas have shaped the distribution of cranes and continues to do so.

While the area around the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) provides sanctuary for the cranes, the shifting political and socio-economic situation poses both challenges and opportunities for their long-term conservation. Join conservationist Lee Kisup, professor of socio-politics, Joo Yunjeong and International Crane Foundation Emeritus Director Hall Healy in a discussion of trends and prospects for cranes in this critical area.

Let’s Whoop it up!
Jul 23 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Photo by K.S. Gopi Sundar

Craniacs Unite for a Global Celebration on July 23, at 7 p.m. Central Time!

You are cordially invited to our first-ever virtual fundraiser to celebrate cranes and Craniacs worldwide. Let’s Whoop It Up! is an opportunity for Craniacs to unite for a global celebration to support our mission on Thursday, July 23, at 7 p.m. Central Time.

We’re so eager to give you a sneak peek to our newly renovated site, Cranes of the World, and share our mission worldwide, that we’re creating this special event. We’ll be opening the gates virtually and providing never before seen by the public glimpses of our $10M site renovations. And, we’ll hear from colleagues in Asia, Africa and North America about their efforts to save cranes and the places they dance.

The evening will be hosted live by President and CEO Rich Beilfuss and Co-founder George Archibald in the new George Archibald Welcome Center. It will include a virtual auction, with one-of-kind crane experiences with our staff, and several surprises.

Click here to learn more about the event.