What can you do to make a difference? Get informed and support ICF’s global conservation programs! From discussions on coastal water resources in Texas and crane hunting in the eastern United States, to creating awareness of illegal African crane trade or water quality in southeastern China, ICF is making its voice heard across the world. Following are four global snapshots of ICF in Action.
The International Crane Foundation (ICF) has nine Whooping Crane chicks for this year’s Direct Autumn Release (DAR) Program, a release method that relies on older Whooping Cranes to lead the chicks south in the fall. ICF is one of only five captive breeding centers in the world focused on raising endangered Whooping Cranes for release into the wild.
ICF recently launched an initiative to develop a National Whooping Crane Environmental Education program. This program, aimed at 4th – 8th grade students, teachers, families, and the general public, will involve interactive multi-media tools to engage people in Whooping Crane conservation. We started this work in Texas through a partnership with Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.
The International Crane Foundation is “whooping it up” after a historic Court ruling in favor of the citizen suit filed by The Aransas Project against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to protect the last naturally migrating flock of Whooping Cranes.
In early August, ICF veterinarian Dr. Barry Hartup participated in his third annual research trip to western Canada to band wild Whooping Crane chicks on their remote summering area at Wood Buffalo National Park.
Conservation leadership is at the heart of ICF’s global mission to save cranes and the diverse ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they and all of us depend. We are dedicated to inspiring and empowering leaders at all levels. We provide training and practical experience for individuals and organizations engaged in community-based conservation, education, and outreach at key crane sites, building on their knowledge of cultural norms and practices. We also facilitate international leadership on key cross-cutting issues that affect cranes, such as sustainable water management. And sometimes conservation leaders find us, and together we tackle challenges beyond the reach of ICF alone. In this issue, we share stories from conservation leaders who are on the front lines of saving cranes and their landscapes on three continents.
This has been a busy month for Whooping Crane activity since our last report. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge has received an additional 0.72 inches of precipitation and salinity levels remain higher than ideal. We have continued to help alleviate the low food resources by adding to our prescribed burn totals. This week alone we have burned an additional 4,682 acres of Whooping Crane habitat. Biologists observed the Whooping Cranes eating roasted acorns and are seeing continued usage.