Events | International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation



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.

Conserving Whooping Cranes and Their African cousins, the Wattled Crane
Jul 30 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photos by John Ford and K.S. Gopi Sundar

Join us for our webinar with North America Program Crane Analyst Hillary Thompson and Drakensberg Coordinator Lara Jordan on Thursday, July 30, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Click here to register.

Two large, rare crane species on two continents – Wattled and Whooping Cranes – faced alarming declines. Wattled Crane numbers in South Africa plummeted in the mid to late 20th century to a little more than 200 birds, mainly due to habitat loss through afforestation and agriculture. Unfortunately, Whooping Crane numbers plummeted even further than that of their African cousin to a mere 21 birds in the 1940s, due to hunting and habitat loss.

This webinar will showcase the efforts undertaken to successfully reverse these declines and how the similarities and differences between the two species and their biology have influenced the conservation actions to save them. With stories directly from the field staff entrusted with the work to conserve these two iconic cranes, we will learn about the role of aerial surveys, satellite tracking, color banding and the monitoring of breeding and non-breeding birds, in their conservation on two continents. We will highlight the critical threats to each species across the landscape on which they depend. Also, we will discuss what, as a global organization, we are doing to reduce these threats, and how, together, we are providing space for these cranes to continue dancing on the grasslands of South Africa and in the marshes of North America.

Understanding the Future of the Agriculturally Dependent Blue Crane in the Western Cape, South Africa
Aug 13 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by Mark Anderson

Join us for our webinar with Blue Crane Ph.D. Candidate, Western Cape Field Officer and Leiden Conservation Graduate Fellow Christie Craig on Thursday, August 13, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Click here to register.

The Blue Crane is the world’s most range-restricted crane species, occurring mainly in South Africa with a tiny population in Namibia. In the late 1900s, the Blue Crane population declined rapidly in their natural grassland habitat. Fortuitously, at much the same time, the Blue Crane was colonizing a new area of the country, the wheatlands of the Western Cape. Today more than half of the world’s Blue Cranes are now found in this intensively farmed area of South Africa. This change poses some unique conservation challenges, as cranes are living near people and livestock.

In this webinar, we will explore the interesting history of how the Blue Crane came to be in the Western Cape and how they adapted to this agricultural landscape. Our work in this region is focused on understanding the resilience of this population through a four-year Ph.D. project, looking at the trends in Blue Crane numbers, the threats facing this species and the opportunities for future conservation. Ph.D. candidate and field officer Christie Craig will share some of the early findings from the research so far and some of the exciting plans to come. 

This research is funded by the Leiden Conservation Fund and South African power utility Eskom.

Virtual Birdfair
Aug 18 – Aug 23 all-day

The annual Birdfair in Rutland, England is going virtual! Click here to learn more.

Crane Camp 2020 – Kindergarten through Second Grade
Aug 26 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

We are excited to offer a virtual camp experience this summer for your young Craniacs! Crane Camp is a free, hour-long virtual camp full of crane-themed games, stories and other activities led by our outstanding educators. Each camper will receive a special Crane Camp Kit by mail!

Sessions 1 and 3 are for grades K to 2 and will be held Wednesday, Aug. 26 and Thursday, Aug. 27 from 10 to 11 a.m. CDT.

Crane Camp has a limited number of spots, so registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration for International Crane Foundation members begins on July 27 and opens for nonmembers on July 30. Registration is limited to U.S. residents due to mailing restrictions for the
Crane Camp Kits.

To register, please submit this Google Form (one per child) by Monday, August 10.