ICF Receives Disney Conservation Grants

Media Contact: Kate Fitzwilliams, Marketing/PR Specialist, 608-356-9462 ext. 147

Baraboo, WI (9-5-13) The International Crane Foundation (ICF) has been awarded two $25,000 grants from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). These conservation grants will support ICF’s work in China to protect the Siberian Crane, a critically endangered species dependent on rapidly disappearing wetlands along its flyway; and its activities in East Africa, to protect the Grey Crowned Crane whose population has declined by 75% over the last 20 years.

“The two programs DWCF will support demonstrate the solutions that become possible when diverse people work together,” said Jim Harris, ICF’s Senior Vice President. “ICF will be able to implement conservation plans that integrally involve local communities in conservation action to secure the future of these two endangered crane species.”

Safeguarding Poyang Lake Wetlands
Poyang Lake has high global importance for biodiversity, and ICF has been collaborating with Poyang Lake Nature Reserve to study the linkages among cranes, aquatic plants, and water levels within the Poyang Lake basin, a long-term study that is providing vital information for evaluating future water development projects and lake management issues. With the support of DWCF, ICF will implement research and environmental education activities at Sha Hu, a major and ecologically important sub-lake within the Poyang ecosystem.  We will improve knowledge of the waterbirds and their wetlands, develop an environmental curriculum for local schools, winter ecological camps, bird watching and other activities at a reserve station, and inspire and shape attitudes and behavior.

Cranes and Wetlands Tanzania
In order to protect the Grey Crowned Crane population from further decline, ICF, in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, will lead a project using sound science methodology and drawing on local indigenous knowledge to better understand the current status of and threats to cranes and their wetland habitats. With DWCF’s support this project will focus on the northern parts of Tanzania where ICF suspects this country’s largest population of Grey Crowned Cranes occurs. Using the Tanzanian Bird Atlas, five non-protected key crane areas will be chosen for the project. In addition, five protected areas — Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and Arusha National Park — will be included in the project.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) works to protect species and habitats, and connect kids to nature to help develop lifelong conservation values. Since its founding in 1995, DWCF has supported more than 1,000 conservation programs in 112 countries. For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature visit www.disney.com/conservation.

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About The International Crane Foundation (ICF)  ICF works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. ICF provides knowledge, leadership, and inspiration to engage people in resolving threats to cranes and their diverse landscapes. The success of ICF is possible solely through the generous support of our members and donors. For more information about ICF visit www.savingcranes.org