International Crane Foundation

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The International Crane Foundation headquarters is located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Due to loss of wetlands, collisions with power lines, as well as illegal hunting, the numbers of both the whooping crane and the sand-hill crane have fallen. The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo works towards improving these problems, and provides many educational opportunities for people to understand the issues involving both whooping and sand-hill cranes. [1] On a more international scale however, the whole organization works towards protecting all 15 species of cranes. One interesting fact about the International Crane Foundation is that it is also located near the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

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International Crane Foundation . Source: savingcranes.org

History of the Foundation

The International Crane Foundation vision began in 1971. Two students from Cornell University (George Archibald and Ron Sauey) came up with an idea of an organization to help protect the world's 15 species of cranes. In 1973, the vision of the two students started to become a reality; Ron's family allowed their horse farm in Baraboo, WI to be rented out to the two students. Since then, the foundation has reached success on a global scale, and they work in 50 countries on 5 different continents. [2] As a matter of fact, George Archibald is currently a finalist for the International Award of Conservation Excellence for his work in the conservation of cranes over the last 50 years. [3]

The Mission

The purpose of the International Crane Foundation is ultimately to protect various crane species. There are several ways that the foundation is able to do this. The foundation places a large emphasis on safeguarding various crane populations, by breeding in captivity and reintroduction to the wild. In the wild, the Foundation works to protect migration patterns and habitats for cranes. Although the foundation is keen on protecting cranes in the wild, they also place a large part of their work in reintroducing cranes born in captivity back into the wild. In order to prevent crane species from becoming extinct, there is a "species bank" at the foundation's main headquarters in Baraboo, WI. [4]

Challenges

Although the International Crane Foundation has been successful over the years, the organization is always facing new challenges. The following issues affecting the crane species are all currently being dealt with by those within the foundation.

Climate Change

The effects of climate change are continuously taking its toll on the existing crane population. Due to the commonly known fact that the oceans are rising, the habitats of the Whooping Cranes along the coast of Texas are being threatened. In order to combat this pressing issue, experts within the organization are "working on how rising sea levels will affect current and future habitats for Whooping Cranes and establish conservation areas that will help the crane population recover from future sea level conditions." [5]

Agriculture

Although cranes can be beneficial to farmers by feeding on insects or wasted grain, cranes can also damage crops. In order to help solve this particular issue, the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin helps by assisting farmers on taking better care of the wetlands that cranes nest in. The foundation also encourages the restoration of prairies in order to improve ground water filtration. [6] This will help farmers with their crops, as well as provide habitats for cranes.

Invasive Species

The International Crane Foundation works towards stopping invasive species from disrupting crane habitats around the world. In order to prevent invasive species from harming crane habitats, the International Crane Foundation works with various governments from around the world to protect natural ecosystems. By taking precautionary measures to protect already clean ecosystems from invasive species, cranes should always have a natural habitat to live in. [7]

International Impact

The International Crane Foundation has an incredibly large impact not only in the United States, but around the globe. The foundation works in areas of the world where species of cranes are most threatened; East and South East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and North America. [8] 11 of the world's 15 species are facing extinction, so the amount of protection the cranes face intensified. [9]

The fact that the International Crane Foundation started out as small as it did and has now expanded to the various parts of the world is an astronomical feat. This foundation has brought hundreds upon hundreds of people together to bring positive change towards a species of bird whose numbers had almost diminished. With continued help from people around the globe combating issues that have significant impacts on wildlife, there is no doubt that the International Crane Foundation will continue to succeed in protecting these species.

References

  1. "North America," International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed November 21, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/our-work/north-america/.
  2. "History," International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed November 21, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/about-icf/history/
  3. "Newsroom," International Crane Foundation, Betsy Didrickson (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed December 14, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/co-founder-of-international-crane-foundation-finalist-for-international-award-for-conservation-excellence/
  4. "Safeguarding Cranes," International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed December 10, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/our-work/safeguarding-crane-populations/
  5. "Addressing Climate Change," International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed December 10, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/our-work/addressing-climate-change/
  6. "Biodiversity Conservation on Agricultural Lands," International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed December 10, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/our-work/biodiversity-conservation-on-agricultural-lands/
  7. "Securing Ecosystems, Watersheds, and Flyways," International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed December 10, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/our-work/securing-ecosystems-watersheds-and-flyways/
  8. "Our Work," International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed December 10, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/our-work/
  9. "History," International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, US: , 2017), accessed December 10, 2017, https://www.savingcranes.org/about-icf/history/

Resources for Further Research

For further research, check out the "Crane Conservation Act of 2008" : report (to accompany H.R. 1771) (including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office). This text is available on the 5th floor of the UWGB Cofrin Library found in the Government Documents section. The author of this text is written by the United States Congress House Committee of Natural Resources. This text was published in Washington D.C. in 2008. For a complete online addition of this text, please follow the following url link: https://www.congress.gov/110/crpt/hrpt635/CRPT-110hrpt635.pdf

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