Date of this Version
The Condor: Ornithological Applications 119 (2017): pp.167–169, DOI: 10.1650/CONDOR-16-159.1.
Cranes (Gruidae) are widely distributed throughout the world, have lived on Earth for several million years, and currently reside on five continents. Archaeological evidence and historical references suggest that humans have interacted with and been captivated by cranes for many thousands of years (e.g., Leslie 1988, Muellner 1990). A glimpse of our reverence for these birds can be found in A Chorus of Cranes by Paul A. Johnsgard, with photographs by Thomas D. Mangelsen. Many species of cranes are currently identified as threatened or endangered, and their future will likely rest in the hands of humans; this book presents their plight and some of the measures that have been taken to conserve them. Dr. Johnsgard, an emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a prolific writer, having written more than 60 books in ornithology and other topics. This book serves as the latest update of previous efforts concerning crane biology, conservation, and management. A review without making comparisons to his past works is difficult, yet this assessment will primarily focus on the content of the current book, with little reference to past endeavors.