Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version

January 1983


From Cranes of the World by Paul A. Johnsgard (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1983; electronic edition: Lincoln, NE, 2008). Copyright © 1983 Paul A. Johnsgard.


Few families of birds, other than some associated with small island archipelagos, have such a large proportion of their species in danger of extinction as does the crane family. Of the 14 extant species of cranes, King (1979) regards two full species (whooping crane and Siberian crane) as endangered, three more (Japanese, hooded, and white-naped) as vulnerable, and the black-necked crane as of indeterminate status. Additionally, one race (the Mississippi) of the sandhill crane is classified as endangered, and the Cuban race is regarded as rare and local. Thus, more than a third of the world's crane species are currently considered vulnerable or endangered.

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