A freezing winter’s day just outside of Kushiro on the east coast of Japan’s most northern island of Hokkaido.
The population of red-crowned cranes in Japan is mostly non-migratory and currently consists of just a thousand or so birds.
Hunting and land loss led to a near extinction in the late 1800s. Governments and citizens woke up to the plight of tancho in the 1950’s...now protected, supported, and with a secure winter food supply, the population began a dramatic recovery that has made it the great success story of 20th century conservation in Japan.
The red-crowned crane is a potent icon. In symbolic form, it is the bird of happiness and long life (in fable it lives for a 1,000 years).
Height 160 cm
The red-crowned crane , also called the Manchurian crane or Japanese crane , is a large East Asian crane among the rarest cranes in the world. In some parts of its range, it is known as a symbol of luck, longevity, and fidelity.