Siberian Cranes

Yesterday while I stood on a small island in Poyang Lake, China, six Siberian cranes in glistening white with black wing tips circled overhead on midday thermals. Like fellow humans since times untold, I was touched by their magnificence and inspired anew to help these global treasures survive.

These cranes once graced wetlands and skies from Egypt to Japan. They are reduced to a single group. They all winter at Poyang Lake. Shallow wetlands vital to cranes are threatened by a proposed dam across the outflow. So we join forces with Chinese conservationists to help.

Recently, Siberian Cranes wintered in Iran and India. A single bird continued to come to Iran. The last crane was seen in India a decade ago. Shooting along their migration routes that spanned a continent is believed to be their demise. So one must go to Poyang Lake in winter to experience these global treasures.

Your friend with the cranes,

George Archibald
International Crane Foundation