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The Cranes

Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan


This action plan reflects the commitment and contributions of the global network of scientists and conservationists who are working to protect and restore crane populations and the ecosystems where they are found. The compilers wish to express their deep gratitude to all those who have made this work possible through their research, writing, organizing, funding, and sustaining interest.

Special thanks are due to Mary Anne Bishop of the U.S. Forest Service, Ann Burke of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Scott Swengel of the International Crane Foundation, who served as lead authors of the Black-necked, Wattled, and Red-crowned Crane species accounts respectively.

The following individuals have contributed to and reviewed significant portions of this document: David Allan, Prakash Gole, Andrew Haffenden, Curt Halvorson, Jim Harris, Fran Kaliher, Jim Lewis, Claire Mirande, Mini Nagendran, Hartwig Prange, Sergei and Elena Smirenski, Alexander Sorokin, Su Liying, Emil Urban, Joost van der Ven, and Carl-Albrecht von Treuenfels. Their consistent willingness to respond on short notice to text queries is greatly appreciated.

This action plan has benefitted from the close involvement of dozens of additional reviewers around the world. We wish to thank the following individuals for their careful reading, insightful comments, and swift response to questions: Mohammed Ahmad, Julia Almeida, Javier A. Alonso, Juan C. Alonso, Yuri Andryushchenko, Kyoko Archibald, Hector Mark Banda, Jeb Barzen, Rich Beilfuss, Mary Anne Bishop, J. Gavin Blackman, Bruce Bohmke, Christa Budde, Ann Burke, Col. R. Tommy Chacko, Rod Drewien, Phil Du Guesclin, Roger Edwards, David Ellis, Li Fengshen, David Ferguson, Vladimir Flint, Xiomara Galvez, Nathan and Cecilia Gichuki, Peter Gorlov, Maciej Gromadzki, Scott Hereford, Philip Hall, Hiroyoshi Higuchi, Marion Hill, Jesse Hillman, Dale Hjertaas, Douglas Hykle, Roger Jaensch, Brian Johns, Paul Johnsgard, David Johnson, Doug Johnson, Anatoly Kovshar, Carey Krajewski, Gary Krapu, Ernie Kuyt, Steven Landfried, Julie Langenberg, Hugh Lavery, Li Fengshen, Steve Livingston, Göran Lundin, Ma Yiqing, Paul Mafabi, Michael Moser, Taej Mundkur, Mahendra Shrestah, Yuri Markin, Hiroyuki Masatomi, Wolfgang Mewes, Tanyu Michev, Steve Nesbitt, Steve Newton, Günter Nowald, Anthony Perera, Jan-Erik Petersen, Derek Pomeroy, Jerome Pratt, Kishore Rao, Juhanni Rinne, Christian Riols, Alain Salvi, R. Michael and Ann Scott, Sergei Khomenko, David Sharp, Yuri Shibaev, Kim Sooil, Tom Stehn, Rajendra Suwal, Scott Swengel, Warwick Tarboton, Nguyen Huu Thien, Bernard Tréca, Tran Triet, Richard Urbanek, Wang Qishan, Wang Youhui, Marianne Wellington, Don White, and Sergei Winter. In addition to those who responded to drafts of this document, many others have contributed no less significantly through their reports, publications, and personal communications.

For their advice, support, and guidance in preparing this action plan, we thank the following individuals: Nigel Collar, Mariano Gimenez Dixon, Jay Hair, Linette Humphrey, Vladimir Krever, Tim Moermond, George Rabb, Simon Stuart, Tim Sullivan, Stan Temple, Susan Tressler, Tom Yuill, and Roland Wirth. Josep del Hoyo and Andy Elliot of Lynx Editions and BirdLife International graciously allowed text from the Handbook of the Birds of the World to be adapted for use in this document.

Milford Muskett of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Environmental Studies generously contributed his time and effort in preparing the maps in this action plan. Victor Bakhtin, Megan Doerr, and Carey Krajewski assisted in the preparation of the figures.

The entire staff of the International Crane Foundation has been a reliable source of information and encouragement throughout the preparation of this report. Annie Reinhart provided invaluable assistance in preparing the literature section of this document. We also wish to Charles and Nina Leopold Bradley, Paul Rome, Pat Stedman, and Mary Wickem for their continuing interest in this project.

Finally, the following organizations and individuals provided financial and institutional support for the development of this action plane: the Aldo Leopold Foundation, BirdLife International, Canadian Wildlfe Service, Environment Canada, the International Crane Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, Edmund A. Stanley Jr., and the U.S. Department of State. We are grateful to all of these for their constant encouragement.


During the preparation of this document, the cranes lost three of their most dedicated students and ardent admirers. Thomas T. Tacha devoted a substantial portion of his career as a wildlife biologist to advancing our understanding of North America’s Sandhill Cranes, and contributed importantly to the Sandhill Crane account that appears in this volume. Gretchen Holstein Schoff was an early and constant supporter of the International Crane Foundation, and a devoted friend and advisor to the compilers of this action plan. Through the publication Reflections: The Story of Cranes, she continues to touch crane enthusiasts around the world. More than any other single individual, Lawrence Walkinshaw built the foundation upon which this action plan rests. His lifelong commitment as a scientist, writer, and conservationist continues to inform and inspire all those who work to ensure a secure future for the cranes. This action plan is dedicated to the memory of these three special individuals.

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