On Sept. 7, 2021, the cranes of the world and Craniacs lost a treasured friend when Dr. Carl-Albrecht Von Treuenfels left this world after several years in a brave battle against leukemia. As a lawyer, journalist and photographer, and through his 11 books and hundreds of newspaper articles and other publications, Carl was one of Europe’s leading advocates for nature conservation. His impact was enormous, especially as the Director of the World Wildlife Fund – Germany from 1990 to 2004 and founder and leader of The Wetlands Foundation in 2008.
Cranes were his favorite. Well known by Craniacs worldwide for his magnum opus The Magic of Cranes, through brilliant photos and sparkling text, Carl shared his knowledge of and personal experiences with all 15 species of cranes and the people devoted to their conservation.
In 1983, after attending the International Crane Workshop in India, Carl returned to Europe and, in company with the late Dr. Joost Van Der Ven, established the still-active, European Working Group on Cranes. Always close to the International Crane Foundation, Carl joined our Board of Directors from 2005 to 2010 and traveled to our headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin, regularly to attend meetings. He also toured internationally with our staff, including a trip to Ethiopia with our President and CEO Rich Beilfuss in 2004 and with our Co-Founder George Archibald to India, China, Europe and especially Germany to see “his” beloved cranes (Eurasian or Common Cranes).
He will be missed by a wide circle of friends and admirers but will always live on through his great works.