Skip to main content

Red-crowned Crane

Grus japonensis
The Red-crowned Crane is a large species of bird that can be found in the rivers and marshes of East Asia. They are the heaviest of the Crane species, and are also the most aquatic; they live, breed, nest, and feed there. The Crane's diet consists of fish, insects, amphibians, and a wide variety of reeds and aquatic grasses.

Red-crowned Cranes are also sometimes referred to as Japanese or Manchurian Cranes. They are symbols of peace, long life, and fidelity in their native countries, and have long been represented in folklore and art. These birds are popular icons in Japanese wedding ceremonies, as the Cranes form lifelong monogamous pairs that frequently dance and sing to one another. They were also designated as one of Japan's National Animals in 1952.

Despite the reverence and persistence in culture and folklore, the Red-crowned Crane almost went extinct during the 20th century. Hunting, habitat loss, and devastation caused by World War II reduced the Japanese population down to only a handful of birds, and similar threats damaged populations elsewhere.

The species is now protected in Japan, South Korea, North Korea, and Russia. Other conservation efforts include the creation of supplemental feeding stations and the installation of bird-visible power lines. The population is rebounding, but wetland drainage and development continue to pose threats. Interestingly, the Demilitarized Zone has become a popular spot for these birds, but the fragile political nature of that area could cause the birds to lose this now human-free habitat.

IUCN Status : Endangered
Location : East Asia
Size : Height up to 62in (1.6m), Weight up to 22lbs (10kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Gruiformes
Family : Gruidae -- Genus : Grus -- Species : G. japonensis


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe