Events | International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation



Talking About Nature: Crane Conservation @ Geneva Lake Museum
Feb 29 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The first lecture in the Kettle Moraine Land Trust’s “Talking About Nature” series features our President and CEO Rich Beilfuss, who will speak about crane conservation today.

Tickets are $10 per person until February 27, or $20 per person at the door, and include refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres during a meet-and-greet session before the talk. The event is sponsored in part by Midwest Prairies, LLC.

Click here to learn more about the series and to purchase tickets.

The Story of the Sandhill Crane in North America
Apr 9 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for a free webinar with our Crane Research Coordinator Anne Lacy on Thursday, April 9, at 11 a.m. CDT. Sandhill Cranes are the most numerous of the world’s fifteen crane species. They inhabit many varied places in North America – and Asia! – in both migratory and non-migratory populations. Join us for a talk that will follow this species from tropical forests to arctic tundra and the places they go in between. Click here to register.

Making the Skies Safer for South Africa’s Cranes
Apr 16 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photo by David Gaglio

Join us for our second webinar with South Africa Programme Manager Tanya Smith on Thursday, April 16, at 11 a.m. Central time.

All three of South Africa’s threatened crane species, namely the Grey Crowned, Blue and Wattled Crane, suffered drastic declines over several decades until the late 1990s. Over the past two decades, we have witnessed increases in core regions in all three species. For example, results of the annual crane aerial survey spanning 25 years in KwaZulu-Natal, shows Grey Crowned and Wattled Cranes are increasing at an average annual rate of 3.5% and 4.8% respectively in the province – a stronghold for both species. In the Western Cape, where more than 50% of the global population of Blue Cranes occur, the Coordinated Avifaunal Road (CAR) counts have shown similar increasing trends.

One of the main threats to cranes are collisions with overhead power lines, with an estimated 12% of the Western Cape Blue Crane population killed annually (Shaw, 2010). The most widely used mitigation measure to reduce collisions is to improve the visibility of power lines by attaching markers to the conductor and earth wire cables. A research study completed by the Eskom/Endangered Wildlife Trust Strategic Partnership showed that markers fitted to transmission lines in the Karoo reduced Blue Crane collisions by 92%, proving a suitable mitigation method for cranes. For the purpose of this presentation, we will highlight the role of power lines in the decline or growth of crane populations in South Africa, as well as look at the future viability of South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane, in the face of increasing renewable energy and associated power line infrastructure. Click here to register.

Thank you to the Leiden Conservation Foundation for sponsoring this event.

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.