This summer, I had the chance to go to Caohai and talk with many of the girls who are part of the One Helps One Program and learn about their families, schools, hobbies, and their plans for the future.
Since late October, the numbers of Black-necked Cranes in the Phobjika Valley, Bhutan have increased as more birds made their migration over the Himalayas. By November 11, the date of the Fourth King’s Birthday and of the Crane Festival within the courtyard of the Gangtey Gompa (16th century Buddhist temple), there were 262. When I returned on November 19, there were about 350, about 10 percent of which were juveniles, an indication that all is well on the breeding grounds in Tibet. More cranes are expected. Last winter the highest count in the valley was 368. This winter we hope the number exceeds 400!
Each week this winter, ICF’s aviculturists provided our captive crane flock with regular sources of environmental enrichment. Zoos around the world provide enrichment for their animals to help maintain both their physical and psychological health.
In late December 2012, ICF’s Li Fengshan, Ms. Chan Yun-Wen from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Ms. Hu Yabin from Beijing No. 39 Secondary School traveled to Caohai Nature Reserve, wintering area for Black-necked and Eurasian Cranes in southwest China.