Eleven of 15 crane species are threatened with extinction. Help us protect fragile wetland and grassland ecosystems for cranes, people, and the diversity of life.
Real LifeStory of International Crane Foundation by Co-founder, George Archibald
During the past 41 years, my life has been dedicated to the study and conservation of cranes. This life work and passion have led me to some of the most remote areas of five continents and to meetings with Indira Ghandi, the Emperor of Japan, and others.
Cranes have long been symbolic ambassadors of harmony and peace, flying free across many borders on their migrations. Their powerful, universal appeal amazingly motivates people and governments around the world to work together to protect critical ecosystems. I am humbled at the power a bird has to bring us together despite our differences.
One might ask,
Why help cranes when human needs are so great?The answer has been demonstrated to me repeatedly. Humans - from rich to poor - indeed benefit from cranes. We can't underestimate the joy brought to our lives by simply seeing cranes overhead or hearing their clarion call. Like great works of art, they must be protected. There are significant economic advantages to crane conservation. An estimated $15 million in eco-tourism dollars annually comes to communities in Texas and Nebraska where visitors come to see Whooping and Sandhill Cranes. In the developing world, I have been amazed that despite their poverty, people living near endangered cranes become effective conservationists when they are provided the opportunity to safeguard their natural resources while improving the lives of their families. Success comes because conservation of water and wetlands benefits both people and cranes.