A-Z of Endangered Species – Japanese Crane

This week I am heading to the far east and the Japanese Crane, also known as the Red Crowned crane this bird is one of the largest of the crane family, These amazing birds are an icon of Japan and legend says that these birds will live to 1000 years old, they are a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity.

The Japanese Crane can be found in Japan, China, North and South Korea and more recently in Siberia. They are well known for a dance which is performed during the mating season, they are sometimes described as 'Snow Ballerinas' with their graceful moves. 

The Japanese Crane was hunted to near extinction in the late 1800s but thankfully a small group of birds managed to survive, the birds were then hit with lots of other problems, mainly the loss of their habitat and it was thought that there were fewer than 20 of the birds left in the wild. In the 1950s however locals suddenly awoke to the problem and started to feed the birds, helping them to survive the harsh cold winters. By 1959 the population has increased to around 150 and it has been rising ever since, breeding programmes and new colonies have been set up and now the future is looking bright for this beautiful bird. 

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series.

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK