The World of Cranes
Truly global citizens, the world's 15 species of cranes range freely over five continents and migrate across deserts, mountains, frozen tundra, and the borders of dozens of nations. As such, they are ambassadors for peace among diverse peoples who unite in efforts to save the elegant birds, and for the preservation of their fragile wetland and grassland homes and migratory staging grounds. Because of habitat loss and development, many species that once thrived in much broader ranges—among them, the red-crowned, black crowned, and white-naped—are now restricted to fragments of protected land in parks, sanctuaries, even disputed areas between hostile nations.
Symbols of luck and majesty, cranes have been called "wildness incarnate." But with wildness disappearing and their luck running out, the great birds are getting some help from scientists and self-described "craniacs."