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Earlier this week we received news that Bai He had arrived in Yakutia, Russia! The new location placed the young Siberian Crane to the northeast of Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia, approximately 1,400 miles northeast of his last known location at Momoge National Nature Reserve in northeastern China.

Just yesterday we received a new coordinate that places him approximately 400 miles to the north (less than 100 miles from the East Siberian Sea – that is far north!). His current location is near where he was captured and banded in northern Yakutia (where his parents nested) in August 2008. Click on the image below to view a larger version on the map.

We have followed Bai He for nine months as he has journeyed nearly 6,000 miles between his summering and wintering areas. We hope to continue receiving signals from his satellite transmitter over the next few months, so we can follow his movements during his first summer away from his parents. We thank you for joining us on this exciting journey!
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Our last update on Bai He, the banded Siberian Crane that we are tracking north this spring, placed the young crane in Liaoning Province in northeastern China. Just yesterday we were excited to receive a location coordinate from Jilin Province, over 200 miles to the north (click here to view the migration map)! The location is within the Momoge National Nature Reserve, another important “rest stop” for Siberian Cranes along their East Asia flyway. Last spring, over 2,000 Siberian Cranes were observed at the reserve, and Bai He stopped in this area for several days last fall as he migrated south. Next stop – Russia!

Siberian Cranes at Momoge National Nature Reserve
in spring 2008. Photos by Ren Qing.

How did you celebrate Earth Day this year? Last week we asked our Three White Cranes schools to share how they celebrated Earth Day, and we were delighted to receive responses from schools along both project flyways in the United States and East Asia. We thank Ms. Robinson from Kennedy Montessori and Tim Allen and Dr. Lee Carroll from Access International Academy Ningbo for submitting their inspiring stories and photos!

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Kennedy Montessori School in Louisville, Kentucky celebrated Earth Day by having a “Save It Don’t Waste It” fair. The event included booths and recycling games created by the students describing solid waste issues, solid waste solutions, and the results of the dumpster diving.


The booths at the fair included “The Truth about Solid Waste” (above), “Objects from Recycled Materials,” “Too Much Trash,” “Plastic Pollution,” “Signing of Petitions for a Bottle Bill,” “Worm Composting,” and a game to decide what can or cannot be recycled. The students ended the day by the whole school saying a pledge to the Earth.

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The staff, students, and parents at Access International Academy Ningbo located in Zhejiang Province in eastern China took part in fun Earth Day activities on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 to raise awareness of eco-friendly careers, preservation of our planet’s resources, and keeping our world beautiful. One of the events was a fund-raising walk-a-thon to raise money for TrackingCranes.org. The students collected pledges and then walked for an hour along the riverfront at the beautiful Li Ren garden community in Beilun District, Ningbo. In all, over RMB 1000 (nearly $150.00) was raised for the TrackingCranes.org group. We are happy to share with you some photos from our day’s events.




Last fall, Masha Vladimirtseva, Three White Cranes educator and researcher, sent us two updates from northeastern Russia as the Siberian Cranes migrated through this area (see our posting on Crane Days in Southern Yakutia and earlier postings from October 2008). A few weeks ago Masha passed on the news that two of the reserves that protect wetlands along the Siberian Crane flyway in southern Yakutia, Chabda and Kuoluma-Chappanda Republic Resource Reserves, are celebrating their ten year anniversaries in early May 2009.
As Bai He, our banded Siberian Crane, continues his northern migration, he may be migrating through Chabda and Kuoluma-Chappanda Reserves with other Siberian Cranes. Our last location from Bai He was received on April 8, 2009 in northeastern China. We received two poor quality signals from his transmitter last week, but we are optimistic that we will receive further location coordinates as he continues to move north.
To learn more about the Chabda and Kuoluma Chappanda Reserves, read Masha and her colleague’s story on the UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane Wetland Project website.

Maya River, Chabda Republic Resource Reserve

Earlier this week we received some exciting news – a Chinese photographer saw Bai He on March 27th at Huanzidong Reservior in Liaoning Province, China! A week earlier (March 20) we received a location coordinate placing Bai Hai near the reservoir, so it was great news to receive confirmation of the young crane’s location. Our most recent location, received April 2, shows that Bai He has remained in this area, which is an important rest stop for Siberian Cranes during their long migrations. Last fall, Bai He also stopped for several days near the reservoir (see our postings from November 2008 for more information on Huanzidong Reservoir and Bai He’s fall migration).


In the above image, Bai He (left) is landing near the edge of a wetland with a second Siberian Crane. This is the first known picture of Bai He since he was banded in Yakutia, Russia in August 2008. In the below image, you can see the antenna for Bai He’s transmitter on his left leg (the transmitter is attached to a plastic band with the number 00 engraved on the side) and a small metal band on his right leg.


We thank Zhu Ying for permission to post his beautiful image and Wang Ximin for sharing this news.

This week we received new location data from the Siberian Crane, Bai He, that we are tracking in eastern China. We last received data from Bai He’s transmitter on March 5 from the wintering grounds in the Poyang Lake Basin. On March 17 we received new data placing Bai He in eastern China in Hebei Province, approximately 1300 km (808 miles) from the previous location! We believe that Bai He began migration sometime between the 3rd and 17th (due to signal interference in eastern China, we are uncertain when Bai He left the wintering area). We are hopeful that we will continue to receive periodic signals from Bai He’s transmitter, so that we can continue to follow his northern migration.

Meanwhile, in late February Neya, the Siberian Crane that was released this winter in northern Iran, moved approximately 240 km (149 miles) northwest from her wintering site. Unfortunately, we have not received any new location data from her transmitter since March 1, 2009.

Click on the image to the right to view an updated map of the spring migration.

World Water Day

Last month we shared information about World Wetlands Day, an annual celebration of our global wetlands. On March 22 the United Nations is sponsoring World Water Day focusing on our global fresh water resources. This year’s theme is Shared Water – Shared Opportunities and focuses on transboundary water resources, such as the lakes or rivers and even underground aquifers that cross political boundaries. To learn more about this event, visit the World Water Day website. You can download a World Water Day video focusing on the Nile River, posters, send a World Water Day e-card and view an online image gallery.

Similar to our water resources, cranes also cross political boundaries during their annual migrations, and we are waiting to see where our two banded Siberian Cranes migrate this spring. We have received limited location data from both cranes over the past two weeks. Our last location for Neya, the crane in Iran, was approx. 240 km to the northwest of her release site, which may indicate that she has started to migrate (click on the map to the right to view a map of the cranes’ current locations). We’re hopeful that we will receive new data from her transmitter, so that we can learn where she will spend the spring and summer. Meanwhile, we are also waiting to confirm if Bai He, our banded Siberian Crane wintering in the Poyang Lake Basin, has begun his migration. We will post updates on the cranes’ locations as we learn more.

We’ve received requests from you for images of the three white cranes (Whooping, Siberian and Red-crowned Cranes) to incorporate into your classroom activities. You can download images on the International Crane Foundation’s online photo gallery, and I wanted to pass along a link for a site that I recently discovered – ARKive: Images of life on Earth. The site includes background information, images and videos of our three white cranes. Click on the links below to view these pages*

*Note that according to the ARKive website “Teachers, educators, researchers and students may incorporate these materials [images and video] into their lesson plans, presentations, work sheets, projects etc in hard copy and digital format for internal educational use.”