International Crane Foundation

Sandhill cranes are among the crane species the International Crane Foundation helps to save. Photo © Jack Milchanowski / Getty Images.

The ICF works around the world to protect cranes and the habitats on which they depend. Although they focus on cranes, their work is valuable on a wider scale, giving insights into endangered species management, wetland ecology, habitat restoration, and the critical need for international cooperation. The ICF provides education about cranes on three levels—local, national, and international. In addition to educating people about cranes, the ICF also conducts captive breeding and reintroduction of cranes into the wild.


The International Crane Foundation (ICF) was established by founders George Archibald and Ron Sauey in 1973 on a horse farm in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Among the early achievements of the ICF was their hatching of the first red-crowned crane in the Western Hemisphere. In the years that followed, the ICF continued to expand the number of species under their care. They bred and housed species such as hooded cranes, Brolgas cranes, Siberian cranes, and whooping cranes. In 1985, when the ICF took in some black-necked cranes, they became the only organization in the world to look after all fifteen species of cranes. By 1993, when the ICF successfully hatched wattled cranes, it also became the only location to have hatched all fifteen crane species.

Also in 1993, the ICF began contributing whooping cranes in order to establish a non-migratory flock in Florida. In the late 1990s, the ICF joined the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, an effort aimed at reestablishing a migratory flock of whopping cranes into their historic range.

In cooperation with Operation Migration, the ICF trained young whooping cranes to follow ultralight aircraft when flying. In the fall of 2001, the ICF and Operation Migration led the first flock of young whoopers from Wisconsin to Florida.

How They Spend Their Money

  • 88.2% of expenses go towards conservation projects
  • 6.1% of expenses go towards administration
  • 5.5% of expenses go towards fundraising


You can also find the International Crane Foundation on Facebook.


International Crane Foundation
E-11376 Shady Lane Rd. P.O. Box 447
Baraboo, WI 53913 USA
tel: 608.356.9462
fax: 608.356.9465