The International Crane Foundation (ICF) works worldwide to conserve cranes and the wetland and grassland ecosystems on which they depend. ICF is dedicated to providing experience, knowledge, and inspiration to involve people in resolving threats to these ecosystems.
ICF differs from most nature centers and conservation facilities in that its activities single out a very specific subject - cranes- rather than treating the natural history and general ecology of a region. But the focus on cranes is not limiting; instead it provides ICF an opportunity to address a series of issues not tied to a particular place: endangered species management, wetland ecology, habitat restoration, and the critical need for international cooperation.
To accomplish its mission, ICF relies on a wide range of education and conservation activities directed toward the many countries where cranes occur.
ICF is concerned with ecosystem protection and restoration and we strive to alert scientists, government officials, and the public to the dependence of cranes on their habitats, the causes and remedies for habitat destruction, and the importance of wetlands and grasslands for both wildlife and people.
ICF supports research, serving primarily as a catalyst for research, by making available its facilities and bird collection to scientists, by sponsoring workshops and publications, and by nurturing a network of conservationists, biologists, and managers around the world.
ICF’s efforts to preserve cranes are dependent upon education at three levels. First is Wisconsin and neighboring states, from which residents can easily visit our site and benefit from outreach programs such as ICF’s Annual Midwest Sandhill Crane Count. Second, we strive to inform people throughout the United States through outreach programs, films, and national media coverage of our programs. Third, is our international focus. We train and offer expertise in habitat management, restoration, ecology, captive management and propagation to our colleagues in many countries. We also sponsor visits for visiting delegations to ICF, other conservation centers in the United States as well as other countries.
ICF maintains a collection of captive cranes, which allows us to pursue two vital techniques for crane preservation: captive breeding and reintroduction into the wild. Our work also demonstrates endangered species management for the public, and facilitates breeding and education efforts with cranes elsewhere in the United States and aboard.
Our programs stress the interdependence between wildlife and their habitats and the relationships that exist between wildlife, habitat and people. We believe that cranes can serve as a symbol inspiring people from many nations to trust each other and to work together to conserve these magnificent birds.