International Crane Foundation

North America

North America


The once threatened Sandhill Crane has made an inspiring comeback throughout much of its range. However, despite this success, the species continues to be threatened by power line collisions and wetland loss. The Whooping Crane, one of the rarest and most endangered bird species in North America, faces a myriad of similar threats – power line collisions, freshwater diversions, drought, sea-level rise, and illegal shootings.


We are committed to the conservation of the last naturally-occurring Whooping Crane flock that migrates between Canada and coastal Texas, and the reintroduction of additional self-sustaining populations of Whooping Cranes. In addition to this critical work, our North America program includes long-term research on Sandhill Cranes aimed at gaining an even better understanding of crane biology and developing model solutions for crane conservation on agricultural landscapes. Our work includes (click here to learn more about these activities in North America):

  • Securing sufficient high-quality habitat along the central Texas coast wintering grounds and migratory flyway to support the full recovery of the last naturally occurring population of Whooping Cranes.
  • Securing sufficient freshwater flows in Texas’ Guadalupe/San Antonio basin to sustain healthy bays and estuaries for Whooping Cranes, other biodiversity, and the coastal economy.
  • Establishing two self-sustaining populations of Whooping Cranes in eastern North America.
  • Reaching people in important crane places with outreach and environmental education that builds citizen pride in Whooping Cranes and encourages people to be guardians for this iconic North American species.
  • Conducting applied research on issues important to the future of Sandhill and Whooping Cranes, and developing creative solutions to emerging conservation challenges.


Our work in North America is led by the staff of the International Crane Foundation and trusted local partners.


Lizzie Condon
Whooping Crane Outreach Coordinator

Andy Gossens

Andy Gossens
Crane Project Manager

Anne Lacy

Anne Lacy
Crane Research Coordinator


John Pistone
Leiden Conservation Whooping Crane Biologist

Liz Smith

Dr. Liz Smith
North America Program Director


Hillary Thompson
North America Program Crane Analyst


Anna Turkett
Whooping Crane Outreach Coordinator


Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
International Whooping Crane Recovery Team
Texas A&M University
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
United States Geological Society
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
University of Wisconsin
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership


Click on the links below for additional background and in-depth research on our work in North America.

Sandhill Crane Crop Damage
A Sandhill Crane Hunt in Wisconsin?
Studying the effects of sea level rise in coastal Texas
Report a Banded Crane
Whooping Crane Conservation


Join our flock! You can support our critical conservation work in North America by becoming a member. Click here to join today.