It’s a sunny spring day here in Wisconsin and a robin is busy building a nest just outside my home office window. I feel blessed that my family, friends and co-workers remain strong and healthy, and I hope this message finds each of you in good health and coping as best as possible with these challenging times. Craniacs far and wide are sharing messages of joy about the return of Sandhill Crane pairs to their wetlands, farms and neighborhoods – and some rare glimpses of those big, white Endangered Whooping Cranes back in the wilds of Wisconsin, too.
Across East Asia, our teams are cautiously reemerging from two months of isolation, eager to get back to the crane marshes they love. One of the things I most love about the world of crane conservation is the way cranes bring us all together for international goodwill and collaboration. We’ve shared stories of our work across 11 central Asian countries to save the Critically Endangered Siberian Crane, and our network of crane researchers in Africa spans more than 20 countries. This past winter and spring we’ve been following the remarkable migration of Borzya, the Vulnerable White-naped Crane, across six East Asian countries – Mongolia, Russia, China, North and South Korea, and Japan. You can read more about Boryza HERE.
Boryza’s long-distance journey has taught us so much about the interconnection of the breeding, stopover and wintering sites she needs to survive. Her future, and that of the White-naped Crane, depends on the health of these special sites and the people living within and around them. Thanks to the dedicated crane conservationists working in each of these countries, sharing their efforts and supporting each other, Boryza’s journey continues.
Across Africa and here at home, we are settling in and setting ourselves up for the long haul. We continue to provide great care for our cranes in Baraboo with our dedicated crane care and site management teams. For the past year and a half, I have thrilled to the progress we’ve been making on the beautiful homes we are creating for our captive flock. Our remodeled site is gorgeous! I am grateful to our contractor Vogel Bros. Building Co. and our great International Crane Foundation team that has provided such strong leadership throughout the renovation process. We are all so excited to show off our site to you.
But despite all this great progress, we are unable to overcome the impact of COVID-19 on our construction process and public gatherings. Sadly, this week we decided we must delay our grand opening. We know we will have a grand reopening, but we also know this June will not be the right time for a celebratory gathering. I look forward to a soft opening of our site later this year when we will welcome you to stroll our beautiful new exhibits and prairies. And someday soon, we will join together again for a grand reopening and celebration of cranes and all we love.
With best wishes,
President and CEO