International Crane Foundation

Coordinates: 43°32′52″N 89°45′23″W / 43.5477°N 89.7563°W / 43.5477; -89.7563
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International Crane Foundation
A blue crane at the International Crane Foundation
LocationE11376 Shady Lane Rd,
Baraboo, Wisconsin, 53913
Coordinates43°32′52″N 89°45′23″W / 43.5477°N 89.7563°W / 43.5477; -89.7563
Area240 acres (97 ha)

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) is a non-profit conservation organization that works to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. Founded in 1973, the International Crane Foundation is headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin on a 250-acre property that includes live crane exhibits with 15 crane species, a visitor center, breeding facilities, a research library and nature trails. The foundation works worldwide and in the US with local partners to raise and conserve cranes.[1][2][3] The Foundation has offices in China, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa, as well as Texas, and works through strong partnerships with local organizations, governments, universities, businesses and others in these regions.[4] The International Crane Foundation's more than 125 staff and associates work with a network of hundreds of specialists in over 50 countries on five continents.[5]


The International Crane Foundation was founded in 1973 by two ornithology students at Cornell University, Ron Sauey and George W. Archibald, who envisioned an organization that would combine research, captive breeding and reintroduction, landscape restoration, and education to safeguard the world's 15 crane species.[6][7] In 1973, the Sauey family rented their Horse farm to Ron and George for $1 a year to found the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin.[8] The organization moved to its current location in 1983.[9][10]

Archibald was the organization's director from 1973 to 2000. He pioneered several techniques there to rear cranes in captivity, including the use of crane costumes by human handlers. Archibald spent three years with a highly endangered Whooping crane named Tex, acting as a male crane – walking, calling, dancing – to shift her into reproductive condition. Through his dedication and the use of artificial insemination, Tex eventually laid a fertile egg which hatched a chick named Gee Whiz.[11][12]

The International Crane Foundation's office in Rockport, Texas was demolished in 2017 by Hurricane Harvey, but will be rebuilt.[13] The office was located near the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, an area that sustains the last naturally occurring flock of whooping cranes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "One Helps One Program Annual Report". International Crane Foundation China Program. February 26, 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Projects". Wetland University Network. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2017. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP), a survey of 531 wetlands in the whole Mekong Basin, involved scientists of US Geological Survey (USGS), International Crane Foundation (ICF), examined a landscape never before studied in the region.
  3. ^ "Cranes and Wetlands". Nature Conservation Foundation. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  4. ^ "About". International Crane Foundation. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  5. ^ "About". International Crane Foundation. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  6. ^ "History". International Crane Foundation. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Answering The Cranes' Call: 40 Years Of Preserving Grace". NPR. September 8, 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  8. ^ "George Archibald on His Work Saving Cranes from Extinction". Chicago Tonight. September 29, 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  9. ^ "BIRDS OF A FEATHER: 40 years later, the International Crane Foundation is saving more than birds — they are saving environments". Portage Daily Register. July 12, 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Cranes of Wisconsin Near Wisconsin Dells, a global village of birds lives, loves and thrives". Midwest weekends. January 18, 2017. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Tex, the whooping crane who needed a little encouragement..." UPI. June 24, 1982. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Man courts whooping crane for three years to save it from extinction". Tree Hugger. June 30, 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  13. ^ "International Crane Foundation loses office after hurricane". Victoria Advocate. September 12, 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.

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