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Supporting Captive Breeding of Cranes

The International Crane Foundation was started in the 1970s by two Cornell University students studying for their PhD’s in Orinthology. They started the captive breeding of the various species of cranes on a horse farm in rural Baraboo, Wisconsin in 1972. Then, in 1973 they decided they would start the International Crane Foundation as an organization dedicated to the study of and preservation of the crane species.

In 1983 they outgrew the Sauey horse farm and expanded to the present day 225 acre location. The International Crane Foundation site includes a gift shop and a room with beautiful murals that tell the story of the Cranes where you can see a slideshow about cranes. There are guided tours, or headsets that you can rent, to tell the story as you walk through the displays that include all 15 species of cranes, a special natural habitat for the African Crowned Cranes and one for the Whooping Cranes. The entire area is natural prairie grasses. There is a library open by appointment and a museum style building telling about their efforts.

I personally started out raising chickens on my parents’ farm, and chickens were the primary species of bird that Danke Bros Poultry raised. Ducks were what got me started with Purely Poultry, which later grew into many different species. In the fall of 2009 I received a catalog that included swans, cranes, and wild ducks and geese and was intrigued.

I did not know that such a thing  as captive bred wildlife existed. I thought that all the animals in zoos were captured from the wild directly and not bred by either a zoo or a captive breeder.

I also had no idea that there were such beautiful species as the Grey African Crowned Crane or the Black African Crown Crane for sale for people who want a beautiful bird in their backyard gardens.

I have developed my thinking beyond just wanting to promote backyard poultry as pets and sources of food. I now also want to pursue the development of captive breeding of wild species so that there can be ecological diversity within the captive populations so that if needed they can be successfully released into the wild.

I am unsure what is the best method of supporting captive bred conservation efforts. Right now with Purely Poultry I can write up descriptions to educate visitors to my site and offer birds for sale. I have access to educating those who raise domestic poultry about raising wild fowl.

Simply offering wild fowl for sale on my site is one small step toward doing what I can to support conservation efforts. As I continue to learn, I will continue to look for ways to help in the endeavor to keep healthy, diverse populations of wild birds being bred in captivity. Do you do anything to support the conservation of wild birds? Are you interested in learning more about it?



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