Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis): revise global status?

BirdLife species factsheet for Red-crowned Crane

This discussion was first published as part of the 2020 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2021 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.

Red-crowned Crane is a rare species with a continental range in northeast China and southeast Russia (wintering in coastal China and the Korean Peninsula), and an island range in northern Japan (Momose and Momose, 2019). While the continental population includes migratory subpopulations, the island population is resident. The species is both aquatic and terrestrial, preferring grass, reed and sedge marshes for breeding grounds, whilst commonly using wetlands and similar habitats such as tidal flats, rivers and saltmarshes for wintering and passage grounds (Momose and Momose, 2019).

The most significant threat to the Red-crowned Crane remains habitat loss and degradation; hydrological changes, poisoning, illegal hunting and other human-driven factors further threaten the continental population of this species (Momose and Momose, 2019). Due to its dependence on aquatic habitats, the species is additionally highly sensitive to changes in water levels. The island population continues to face issues relating to habituation by humans, leading to traffic accidents and collisions with power lines, as well as infectious diseases in highly concentrated breeding and wintering areas (Momose and Momose, 2019).

The number of mature individuals was previously estimated at 1,830, with a global population of c. 3,050 individuals (J. Harris in litt., 2016). However, the global population is thought to have continued to increase in recent years. Following a census in 2017-2018, the global population is currently estimated at c. 3,430 individuals: 580 in China, 1,250 in Korea and 1,600 in Japan (Momose and Momose, 2019). To account for uncertainty (e.g. the possibility of double counting), the global population is placed in the estimated range of 2,800-3,430 individuals, including c. 2,050 mature individuals (Momose and Momose, 2019). This recent increase in the global population results mainly from the significant population increase in the island population, which outweighs the known declines in some continental populations.

The Red-crowned Crane is currently listed as Endangered under Criterion C1, based on a small population size (<2,500) and >20% decline in 5 years or two generations when last assessed. However, new information about the population size and trend means it may warrant a change in Red List status. Therefore, the species will be re-assessed here against all criteria:


Criterion A:
The global population is suggested to have increased from c. 3,050 individuals in 2016 to 3,431 individuals in 2018, which initially does not suggest a population size reduction under IUCN definition (IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee, 2019). However, this change is thought to be a result of significant increases in the island population, possibly masking severe declines in parts of the species’ continental range (Momose and Momose, 2019). Higher numbers reported from parts of the continental range may not reflect a genuine improvement, but rather better counting methods due to increasing concentrations of the species at fewer sites.

Specifically, the Japanese island population has risen from 600 individuals during 1995-1996 to 1,600 in 2017-2018. Similarly, the Korean population remains stable to increasing, whilst numbers have also increased along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) from 500-650 individuals in 1996 to 1,251 in 2017-2018. The species is thought to no longer winter in North Korea, while China (comprising the main range of the continental population) has seen the most significant declines, with only an estimated 580 individuals in 2018, compared to 1,200 individuals in 1999. The Russian range of the population continues to see mixed trends, but is considered overall as stable to increasing (Momose and Momose, 2019).

Since this species was last assessed, an improved estimate of its generation length has been produced, extending it to 15.9 years (Bird et al. 2020)*. For the purposes of this Red List assessment, trends over three generations (47.7 years) are relevant under Criterion A. Notwithstanding the recent overall increase, the global population is still suspected to have declined by >30% since the 1970s (BirdLife International, 2001), which is also supported by the ongoing reductions and range contractions owing to habitat loss and degradation, especially in parts of its continental range (Momose and Momose, 2019). It can therefore be considered to qualify as Vulnerable under Criterion A2c.

Criterion B: The estimated Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is approximately 1,760,000 km2. This is far above the thresholds for a threatened status under this criterion. Therefore, the species meets Least Concern under Criterion B1.

Criterion C: The population size of Red-crowned Crane is thought to number c. 2,050 mature individuals, which is still small. However, as the global population is currently increasing overall, rather than declining, it does not meet the requirements (i.e. continuing decline) for listing under this criterion. Therefore, the species meets Least Concern under Criterion C.

Criterion D: The number of mature individuals (c. 2,050) is more than twice the threshold for a Vulnerable status under Criterion D1. Therefore, the species meets Least Concern under Criterion D.

Criterion E: To the best of our knowledge no quantitative analysis of extinction risk has been conducted for this species. Therefore, it cannot be assessed against this criterion.

Therefore, it is suggested that the Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) be listed as Vulnerable A2c. The available evidence suggests that the species probably qualified for reclassification from Endangered to Vulnerable between 2012 and 2016. We welcome any comments on this proposed listing and on the proposed timing (to inform the coding of genuine changes for the Red List Index).

Please note that this topic is not designed to be a general discussion about the ecology of the species, rather a discussion of its Red List status. Therefore, please make sure your comments are relevant to the discussion outlined in the topic. By submitting a comment, you confirm that you agree to the Comment Policy.

*Bird generation lengths are estimated using the methodology of Bird et al. (2020), as applied to parameter values updated for use in each IUCN Red List for birds reassessment cycle. Values used for the current assessment are available on request. We encourage people to contact us with additional or improved values for the following parameters; adult survival (true survival accounting for dispersal derived from an apparently stable population); mean age at first breeding; and maximum longevity (i.e. the biological maximum, hence values from captive individuals are acceptable).

An information booklet on the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here and the Red List Criteria Summary Sheet can be downloaded here. Detailed guidance on IUCN Red List terms and definitions and the application of the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here.

References

Bird, J. P.; Martin, R.; Akçakaya, H. R.; Gilroy, J.; Burfield, I. J.; Garnett, S.; Symes, A.; Taylor, J.; Šekercioğlu, Ç.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2020. Generation lengths of the world’s birds and their implications for extinction risk. Conservation Biology online first view.

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.

BirdLife International. (2016). Grus japonensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016.

IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee. 2019. Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 14. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Committee. Downloadable from http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf

Momose, Y., and Momose, K. 2019. Species review: Red-crowned Crane. In: Mirande, C.M., and Harris, J.T., editors. Crane conservation strategy. Baraboo, Wisconsin: International Crane Foundation. p. 245-260.

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86 Responses to Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis): revise global status?

  1. Qian Fawen says:

    The downlisting of Red-crowned Crane from EN to VU is not reasonable and would not be accepted by experts cercerning the conservation of the species. The population increase of RCC is mostly contributed by the island population in Japan because of the artifical feeding in winter time. However, the continental population in recent years maintains almost stable. Having a clear look of the breeding and wintering habitats, the situation indeed is becoming worse from the loss of suitable habitats, and the deterioration of current wetlands that the birds are roosting in summer and winter. From field counting in last twenty years, the wintering population in Yancheng NNR has decreased from about 1000 to only 300.

  2. On behalf of the International Red-crowned Crane Network (IRCN), I oppose the reclassification of the Red-crowned Crane from Endangered to Vulnerable.

    There are two populations, the continental and the island, that are considered separate. The continental population suffers a steep decline while the island population has been supporting the total number. Because the island population stopped increasing, the global population has been slightly decreasing since 2016. So, I would say that it was a very considerate decision by BirdLife not to downlist the species between 2012 and 2016.

    The environment, both natural and social, surrounding the species is changing. For example, in Japan, where most of the island population, which is half of the global population, inhabit, the artificial winter feeding which has helped the island population to grow has been cut by 10% each year for the past five years. There also have been studies underway and these separate populations now considered as one species might be recognized as two subspecies.

    Hence, the status at least deserves a moment of further discussions before the species is reclassified.

  3. Simba Chan says:

    I would also like to flag out a very important fact that the present Hokkaido population is from a relict population that escaped extinction in the late 19th- early 20th century in Japan because they did not migrate. Scores of Red-crowned Cranes survived at the hot spring areas near Kushiro as rivers are not frozen in winter. Of course this would not support 1500 + cranes nowadays so out of any reasons if people stop feeding them (for example, a very serious lockdown of another severe pandemic) the whole population will be wiped out within weeks in winter. That is a very basic understanding to almost all crane researchers in East Asia: the increase of Hokkaido population can never compensate the decrease of the mainland population, and the mainland population is facing threats in both their breeding and wintering grounds.

  4. Dr. DARMAN Yury says:

    On behalf of the Amur branch of WWF Russia, I oppose the reclassification of the Red-crowned Crane from Endangered to Vulnerable. Even the continental population should be split in Eastern flyway (stable number but under high threat of loss wintering grounds in Civil Zone of DMZ in ROK), and Western flyway (drastic decrease of breeding pairs in Zabaikalsky and Amurskay provinces of Russia due to climate change and troubles at wintering grounds in Yancheng). The estimation of Extent of Occurrence (EOO) as approximately 1,760,000 km2 is not feasible, as we should count only remaining suitable breeding grounds.

  5. Several studies have revealed differences between the mainland and island RCCs (DNA diversity, voice, and I believe, anatomy). It will help conservation efforts if they are recognized as two subspecies. My suggestion in 1977 was G. j. panmunjomei for the mainland population and G.j.j. for the island group. Others have suggested other names. If this separation could be officially recognized, each could be treated separately with
    G.j.p. as critically endangered (is we lose the DMZ area to war or development we might lose 75% of the population), and G.j.j. as endangered because of loss habitat. Considering the species as vulnerable is a disservice to both populations in my opinion.

  6. Zhengwang Zhang says:

    As the wintering population of Red-crowned Crane in China is declinining from 1200 in 1990s to less than 400 in 2020, we oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. Many threats such as habitat loss both in breeding grounds and wintering areas are still exsisted, this species need more actions of conservation.

  7. Wieland Heim says:

    We found a positive effect of floods on the number of cranes (including Red-crowned Crane) in the Amur region, far East Russia (https://doi.org/10.1675/063.040.0309). The planned construction of new dams along the Amur river and its tributaries will likely reduce the occurrence of floods, and will therefore negatively impact the availablity of habitat for the Red-crowned Crane in the Amur river basin in the near future. This emerging threat should be considered when revising the status of the species.

  8. I strongly oppose the proposal to down list the Red List status of the Red-crowned Crane and fully agree with all opinions expressed above that also oppose this idea. I see two options here: 1) The species should be separated into two subspecies and with the mainland subspecies listed as Critically Endangered and the island subspecies as Endangered (as George Archibald is proposing); or 2) The Red List Criteria should be amended to address situations when the species is represented by two separate populations, where one (migratory) group has been declining within its vast range for years and is facing a number of serious and threats (presently and in near future), while another (non-migratory) is overcrowding a very limited space and also does not have a secured future. Criteria B is Especially deceiving in the case of the Red-crowned Crane since only a small area that carries a significant part of the world population represents a so far healthy and growing population.

  9. Takeshi Seki says:

    On behalf of Ecosystem Conservation Society-Japan, I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane of the Red-crowned Crane from Endangered to Vulnerable.

  10. ZOUHONGFEI says:

    We oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. The red-crowned cranes need more actions of conservation in the wild.

  11. Haruo Kuroda says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane

  12. As one of the residents in the local city of the eastern Hokkaido where a large number of the populations of the Red-crowned Crane in Japan inhabits, I feel it is not good to adopt the reclassification of the Red-crowned Crane from endangered to vulnerable.
    In our areas many volunteers and groups have been supporting the birds for a long time. They also don’t think it’s a better turning to the upward tendency to the stable growing. They would want more careful and further discussions of the reclassification of the species before the decision would be implemented. So I can not approve of it now.

  13. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Thank you very much to all who have contributed to the discussion regarding the re-assesment of the Red-crowned Crane. While we welcome any contributions to the topic, of course including those contradicting the proposal, may we please ask to include evidence or references supporting the opposition to the proposed listing, where possible. This will allow us to base the assessment on solid data and reach an informed conclusion. Thank you very much!

  14. Takey0shi Matsuo says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

  15. Nami Tomiyama says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.
    In this winter survey, the total number of Red-crowned cranes in Japan is decreasing little by little. And the number of juvenile birds that survive by winter is decreasing.
    Also, the current Red-crowned cranes population is maintained by feeding in winter.

  16. Lan Tian says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. If the reclassification of this species from Endangered to Vulnerable, undoubtedly it will probably intensify the erosion of Red-crowned Crane continental population under the state that convert wild populations to captive populations (Zhou et al. 2016).

    Zhou D , Xia X , Xu W , et al. A growing captive population erodes the wild Red-crowned Cranes (Grus japonensis) in China[J]. Avian Research, 2016, 7(1).

  17. Angela Yiu says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. They are still being artificially supported by feed and have not developed a fully natural mode of survival as a population.

  18. NAGAOKA Shigeo says:

    We oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. The red-crowned cranes need more actions of conservation in the wild.

  19. Ted Thousand says:

    I have heard discussions regarding the winter feeding of Red-crowned Cranes on Hokkaido which may be reduced or eliminated in the future for various reasons. Until the effects of this possible change have been thoroughly studied I cannot support the relisting from Endangered to Vulnerable.

  20. On behalf of Muraviovka Park for Sustainable Land Use (MP), Amur Region, Russia, I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane (RCC) from Endangered species to Vulnerable. In 2000, numbers of breeding pairs of RCC in MP were comparable to such of the White-naped Cranes (15-20 pairs). Unfortunately, our 2000-2020 monitoring data demonstrate a dramatic decline in numbers of breeding, non-breeding, and migratory RCCs in the Amur Region of Russia caused, in part, by disappearance, shrinking, and deterioration of breeding habitats due to flood regulation on large and small tributaries of the Amur River and the following wetland reclamation. These changes have been hurting all water birds, but during the last two decades numbers of White-naped Cranes and Oriental Storks in the Amur Region had fluctuated up and down, reflecting changes in water level and impact of grass fires, while RCCs had abandoned most breeding sites in the Amur Region and their numbers had decreased dramatically in spite of the significant size of the available breeding grounds. In 2020, in spite of excellent breeding conditions for waterbirds, only one RCC pair began breeding at MP. It is clear that there is just not enough birds to fill available breeding habitats. Our ongoing environmental education program (since 1992) helped raise understanding and awareness about Red-crowned Cranes among local communities, but downlisting of the RCC would produce very negative impact on public opinion and would encourage developers to convert more wetlands to croplands. There is even more dramatic decline of RRC in the upper stream of the Amur River Basin.

    Increased number of the total population of RCC should not hide the following facts:
    • Such increase is a result of fast growth of the non-migratory population in Hokkaido that already occupied all available lands on the island, with very low or none breeding success in marginal habitats.
    • The eastern flock of the migratory mainland population wintering in Korean Peninsula is relatively stable but its future is unclear due to political uncertainty with the DMZ and expanding replacement of traditional rice paddies by green houses.
    • The western flock of the mainland population is suffering from loss and shrinkage of wetlands, water bird poisoning along flyways, and captures of adult cranes and chicks for monetary gain. The western flock is, in fact, Critically Endangered.

    • Hee Cheon Park says:

      I also oppose the change of the staus of the RCC.
      About the wintering population size of the RCC at the DMZ, I think we need more detail reassessment. a wintering area along DMZ is very fast changing with a land use recently.
      It is not alots of indivisuals to observe the RCC around southern part of Korea.
      However, I think such a small group of RCC dispersion in winter, I feel something happen from the DMZ for the RCC future.
      We need more time to evaulate the status of RCC at the present
      I am keeping a captive RCC group at the sourthern part of Korea
      By the global warming and climate change of winter, a isolated and fast developing DMZ area will be not the heaven of RCC.
      So, we need a long tern conservation effort.

  21. DQ ZHOU says:

    I think now it’s not a good time for the downlisting of the Red-crowned crane, because:
    (1) The global population growth mainly comes from the island subpopulation in Hokkaido with low gene diversity, and the increase of the island population can never compensate the decrease of the continental subpopulation in China, which also presented by Simba Chan.
    (2) The population size of the western flyway sharply decreased by ~70% during 2000-2020, and actually it is on the verge of collapse.
    (3) The continental subpopulation, especially in the western flyway is facing serious threats, such as wetland loss and degradation, poisoning, and chick/egg capturing. The following papers can be used for your evaluation: Zhou et al (2016) A growing captive population erodes the wild Red-crowned Cranes (Grus japonensis) in China. Avian Research 7: 22; Zhang et al (2019) Landscape dynamics of the important reproductive habitats of the red-crowned crane during 2000-2015. Acta Ecologica Sinica 39:3770–3776 (in Chinese with English abstract); Zhou et al (2014) Red-crowned cranes injured or killed in China in 1999-2013 and its impact on the wild population. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 33: 597–604 (in Chinese with English abstract); Liu et al (2018) Dynamic changes in population size and habitat distribution of wintering red-crowned crane in northern Jiangsu Province. Acta Ecologica Sinica 38:926–933 (in Chinese with English abstract).

  22. Kohei Takeda says:

    As a crane researcher, I strongly oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. The genetic factors should need evaluating the status, which is often neglected by the IUCN criteria (Frankham et al. 2014). The main reason for this proposal is due to the growth in the number of the Japanese island population. But the genetic diversity of the island population is very low (Miura et al. 2012, Akiyama et al. 2017), which suggesting that the continental population is important for the genetic resource of this species. The continental population is seriously threatened with extinction since, for example, some reports estimate significant declines in China (Momose and Momose 2020). Therefore, the downlisting of this species is not adequate at the present and we need more conservation efforts for the crane.

  23. Tetsuji Hidaka says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned .
    Even in Hokkaido,the situation surrounding Red-Crowned Cranes is not very optimistic.

  24. REIKO TAMURA says:

    ”I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.”

  25. I am conducting rescue activities for endangered birds and elucidating their causes of death and injury, as a wildlife veterinarian. In addition to the high number of human-caused accidents (traffic accidents, collisions with power lines etc.), Red-crowned Cranes rely on artificial feeding in winter. I’m against category downgrading.

  26. Morinaga Keiji says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

  27. Reiko Takada says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.
    I also agree with all opinions that oppose the downlist.

  28. KENJI SASAKI says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

  29. Harue Furuie says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

  30. sugano says:

    I oppose tha downlisting of tha Red=crowned Crane

  31. Yutaka Tohyama says:

    The environment surrounding the crane is far from being improved.
    I strongly disagree with the lowering of the rank.

  32. Yasushi Tsurusaki says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.
    ど反対!

  33. Town of Naganuma objects to the down-listing of the Red-crowned Crane.
    Located near Sapporo, Hokkaido, Town of Naganuma has been working on a project called, “Town Where Humans and Red-crowned Crane Can Live Together”. The aim of this project is to create an environment where the endangered species Red-crowned Crane can live without feeling threatened (by human activities).
    In Japan, inhabitable environment for Red-crowned Crane is rapidly decreasing and, they are dependent on artificial feeding for the maintenance of their population. On the other hand, awareness and methods for coexistence of Red-crowned Crane and human activities such as farming are yet to be developed, so when and if Red-crowned Crane go flying to a new region, they tend to meet hostility of people, especially from local farmers.
    Thus, we conclude that the base for the survival of Red-crowned Cranes is still weak, and more effort is to be made in order to improve their inhabiting environment, and to increase their population.

  34. Hee Cheon Park says:

    First of all, I oppose the downlisting of the Red crowned Crane. For a long time, I am considering of the need of more detail monitoring of the RCC at the DMZ for the wintering population and its wintering habitat
    And I am continueing to survey on the dispersed RCC indivisuals and family group at the south part of Korean penninsula. I think something happen along the DMZ area for the RCC wintering although its increasing phenomenon.
    So. I think we need more time to evaluate the change of the RCC status
    Right now, I am continueing of the captive breeding of RCC at my institute located at the sourthern part of Korea
    I am cautiously watching of the RCC life expectancy with the climate change.
    Not yet, I could not explain of the exact pattern. However, for the RCC, it needs more
    time to insure the species survival

  35. Toyomi Iwai says:

    I strongly oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. The red-crowned cranes are still fragile state to live by themselves without some actions of conservation in the wild.

  36. I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.
    The environment in which Japanese cranes can live is getting worse. I want to be able to breed in Hokkaido and Sapporo city in the future.

  37. Keiko Osanai says:

    Red-crowned Crane, once considered to be critically threatened in Hokkaido, Japan, has recovered to a population size of over 1600 individuals, owing to a diligent conservation effort through the artificial winter feeding around Kushiro Marsh. However, resulting overcrowding of the limited wintering areas has led to an increased risk of infectious diseases. To achieve the optimal density of the population (i.e. population density that aligns with the carrying capacity of the habitat), the conservation effort has been shifted towards restoring the species in its natural condition by reducing the artificial feeding in recent years. Such an effort has been met with some encouraging signs where a handful of individuals are venturing out to find a new habitat, although a lack of suitable habitats questions the success of range expansion in Hokkaido. The fate of the current population after the discontinuation of the artificial feeding remains largely unknown, but it is inevitable that the population size and breeding success will be affected negatively. Therefore, it seems premature to down list the species, when a stable healthy population is yet to be established.

  38. Sasaki Kaori says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.Because their habitat is heavily influenced by humans and remains vulnerable.

  39. Midori Yamane says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. It should be noted that the increase in the population of the RCC is mostly attributable to human efforts to increase and maintain their population by providing cranes with dent corn in the winter because they do not migrate to warmer locations. The environment in which RCC can live totally independent and viable still remains far from ideal for them in light of various factors including conflicts with human activities. If protection activities of RCC will be decreased due to the downlisting, I do not think that it will take long for the RCC to face a threat of sharp decline in the population, leading to a crisis of extinction. I do not want to see them disappear from our world. Therefore, please leave the red list category as it is now.

  40. Satsuko Koga says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. 
    I am worried about their extinction.

  41. Simon Qin says:

    As the wintering population of Red-crowned Crane in China is declinining from 1200 in 1990s to less than 400 in 2020, we oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. Many threats such as habitat loss both in breeding grounds and wintering areas are still exsisted, this species need more actions of conservation.

  42. Zhaoshu Shi says:

    i do not agree with the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane as I think the China population is still in danger and declining every year, and it has low relevance with the Japan population

  43. Jingwen Sun says:

    The past 20 years have witnessed a dramatic decline of the number of Red-crowned Crane continental population ,from about 1000+to about 300;I think that the downlisting of Red-crowned Crane from EN to VU is not a good idea, especially on the conservation of continental population; so, I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

  44. Jia Zheng says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

    Because the population in the Northeast of China is shrinking, it has declined from 1200 in 2000 to 400 individuals until now. Although the population in Japan has been increasing a bit during these years, the narrow distributed range and the slight increase in Japan does not mean the whole species is recovering. The genetic diversity is urgently needed to be re-evaluated.

  45. 郭鹏 says:

    I strongly oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. The red-crowned cranes in the mainland of China is genetically different from those in Japan and their population is actually decline. They need more attention of conservation.

  46. Changhu LU says:

    Based on our survey on wintering population these years in Yancheng National Natural Reserve,the population of Red-crowned Crane in YNNR is declinining dramatically from 1100 in 1990s to less than 400 in 2020. As we know,tne increase of Hokkaido population can never compensate the decrease of the mainland population, and the mainland population is still facing great threats in both their breeding and wintering grounds. We strongly oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

  47. Liu Tao says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. If the reclassification of this species from Endangered to Vulnerable, undoubtedly it will probably intensify the erosion of Red-crowned Crane continental population under the state that convert wild populations to captive populations (Zhou et al. 2016).

    Zhou D , Xia X , Xu W , et al. A growing captive population erodes the wild Red-crowned Cranes (Grus japonensis) in China[J]. Avian Research, 2016, 7(1).

  48. xiaodong gao says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.the population in mainland of China is still decresing,Red-crowned Crane is a perfect species as flagship species in wetland and it is still in danger.

  49. Asuka Langley says:

    I disagree with the decision of downlisting the status of Red-crowned Crane as further study of different populations in different area about their genetic diversity is still much needed.

  50. Yu Chao says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. The reasons as follow: 1 The continental population is declining due to the stopover sites are face with habitat fragmentation, meanwhile, 2 Extreme drought in breeding ground causes reduction of reproductive success. More work needs to be done to protect Red-crowned Cranes.

  51. Liu Jiyun says:

    The western population of red-crowned cranes in China has declined sharply in the past 20 years, from 1,200 in 2000 to less than 400 at present, and the situation is still critical.
    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

  52. Coco says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane seriously. The improving on Japanese red-crowned crane population was the main reason of over breeding . While its in a low genetic diversity, having no right to on behalf of the retire! (This creature in other countries is facing extinction ! )

  53. Hannah says:

    I strongly disagree with this decision, as the population of red-crowned crane in Hokkaido is different from that in China. In China, their habitats are still being affected by human activities, they are still facing the danger of poaching. They are very vulnerable species, we need to work together to restore their population.

  54. Lv shicheng (researcher and director of the Academic Committee of in Jiangsu Yancheng Wetland rare Birds National Nature Reserve) says:

    As a researcher committed to Red-crowned Crane studies for 35 years in Jiangsu Yancheng Wetland rare Birds National Nature Reserve, I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane, mianly for the following reasons:
    1. the growth in the number of the Japanese island population has no connection with thecontinental population, and its genetic diversity is extremely low (since they are the descendants of more than 30 individuals), so it cannot represent the entire red-crowned crane species.
    2. The population of western red-crowned cranes in China has declined sharply in the past 20 years, from 1200 in 2000 to less than 400 at present. The situation is still critical.

  55. Dou Wei says:

    It is everyone’s duty to protect the red-crowned crane I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

  56. Zhang Xiaolei says:

    Red-crowned crane race in China declined dramatically. I objected to downlist its threaten level.

  57. 吴骥 Ji Wu says:

    I strongly oppose the downlisting! This change is not in favor of the Red-crowned Cranes in China and other areas, more factors need to be taken into consideration.

  58. Gong Huijun says:

    Downlisting this red-crownedCrane is not correct because Japanese group is only a part of this specie and it is different from its Chinese relatives. The number of this Chinese group is decreasing these years.

  59. Leng Zhigao says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.

    The fact is that Japanese group is only a part of this specie and it is different from its Chinese relatives. The number of the Chinese group is decreasing these years.

    Help the Red-crowned Crane, please!

  60. Jiayou Zhang says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane.Their mainland populations are still facing habitat destruction and their numbers there are decreasing these years.The Hokkaido population was developed from about 30 survival individuals,with relatively low genetic diversity,and can not fully reprensent the genetic diversity of this species,so it is important to conserve other populations as well.

  61. Laura says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. We may need more comprehensive data to re-evaluate the situation globally.

  62. LIBAO 李苞(China) says:

    Red-crowned cranc It’s a real wild population(Able to migrate)Let the only wild crane population disappear in the world, we will be sinners,
    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. ”

  63. Weipan Lei says:

    I oppose the downlisting of the Red-crowned Crane. I have to say that proposing downlisting itself is a reckless and unscientific idea.

  64. Chaowei Sun says:

    The number of Red-crowned cranes is obviously not as much as that of white cranes Siberian Crane. I strongly object to the downgrading of red-crowned cranes from endangered to vulnerable. The red-crowned crane is indeed an endangered species.

  65. Ning Liu says:

    I don’t think it is reasonable to down-grade the red-crowned cranes. I strongly suggest to do more research and collect more data to make final decision. As far as our data, the current situation is still very dangerous for red-crowned cranes.

  66. dongxiao liu says:

    I oppose the downlisting of Red-crowned Crane from EN to VU regarding genetic diversity.
    Maintenance of genetic diversity such as Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is important for the crane population persistence .Without gene diversity in MHC, the Crane would suffer compromised disease resilience, facing high risk of extinction.
    The continental population contributes more genetic diversity than island population. It showed that increasing Island population in Japan (Akiyama, Kohyama et al. 2017, Akiyama, Momose et al. 2017) as well as Korea (Lee, Kim et al. 2020) have low genetic variability. However, migratory population of red-crowned cranes exhibits high polymorphism (Sun, Liu et al. 2020). Unfortunately, China (comprising the main range of the continental population) has seen the most significant declines (Momose and Momose,2019). In that case, it’s still too soon to downlisting.
    Conservation plans for Red-crowned Crane should include the promotion of genetic exchanges between the continental and island populations. It is nearly impossible for the island population to recover its genetic variation in isolation.
    In summary, we would better take it into consideration later.

  67. Qingming Wu(吴庆明) says:

    I am from Northeast Forestry University, and has been touched the Red-crowned Crane from 2002. I strong oppose the reclassification of the Red-crowned Crane from Endangered to Vulnerable.

    【1】The growth of the island (resident) population supporting the total population number does not represent an increase of the effective population.

    Red-crowned Crane is a rare species with a continental range in northeast China and southeast Russia (wintering in coastal China and the Korean Peninsula), and an island range in northern Japan (Momose and Momose, 2019). The continental population wintering in coastal China and the Korean Peninsula includes migratory subpopulations, and the number was basically stable from 1700-1850 individuals in 1996-1999 (from 500-650 individuals wintering the Korean Peninsula in 1996and 1,200 individuals wintering in coastal China in 1999) to 1831 individuals in 2018 (1,251 individuals wintering the Korean Peninsula in 2017-2018, only an estimated 580 individuals wintering in coastal China in 2018). While the island population distributed in Japan is resident, and the number has risen from 600 individuals during 1995-1996 to 1,600 in 2017-2018 (Momose and Momose, 2019). Namely in the last 20 years, the number of the resident population has been support the global number of Red-crowned Crane. But the island population continues to face issues relating to habituation by humans, leading to traffic accidents and collisions with power lines, as well as infectious diseases in highly concentrated breeding and wintering areas (Momose and Momose, 2019). Under the given environment, can you think the population growth of Red-crowned Crane was effective growth?

    2、Current population growth of Red-crowned Crane does not mean that Genetic Diversity is protected.

    The island population with a steep growth that keep certain distance to wild migratory population at behavior habit is facing many problematic issues, and the main migratory sub-population that have wild behavior suffer a steep decline. IUCN think that the core of species protection is to protect Genetic Diversity. The continental population and the island population of Red-crowned Crane was considered separate. The population growth does not mean high Genetic Diversity.

    3、When the main sub-population that have important contribution to Genetic Diversity of Red-crowned Crane is suffering a steep decline, Even if the global number of Red-crowned Crane was increasing, it is not conclude from these information that the cranes should be downgraded.

    In history, the migratory sub-population (the continental sub-population) wintering in coastal China was the main population of the migratory population, and the number was 1,200 individuals in 1999 (about 60 % of the total continental number). In the last 20 years, the migratory sub-population wintering in coastal China was down to an estimated 580 individuals in 2018. While the migratory sub-population wintering in along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) have also increased from 500-650 individuals in 1996 to 1,251 in 2017-2018. The decline number of the overwintering population in China coincides with the increase number of the overwintering population in the Korean Peninsula, Is there a space shift or something else for Red-crowned Crane? Now we haven’t found the real factors. In such circumstances, it would be rash to downgrade the cranes’ endangered status.

    4、Many parameters that affect population change are unknown, such as effective population and population growth rate of the continental population.

  68. Dr. Liying Su says:

    I oppose the downlisting of Red-crowned Crane from EN to VU.

    One of reasons for downlisting is the total population size is over 3,000 crane; however, there are more than half of the cranes are living Hokkaido of Japan belong to Island population. The island population are very different with the Continental population in behavior and genetic. The population has been suffered the “bottle neck” in early 1930’s very closed to extinction; therefore, they do not have migration behavior, living range small, heavily depend on human assistant for wintering, and their genetic are less divers. Plus, the habitat for the crane in Hokkaido is limited, many cranes are forced to live in very small (low quality) wetlands. All these put the population in a very vulnerable position for any catastrophe. Therefore, we should not put too much weight on the number of the Island population when we are considering persistency of the species.

    For continental population, it has been facing several serious threats, wetland lose and degradation in both breeding and wintering grounds; poaching, poisoning, and take eggs or chicks from the wild all of that resulted in its population on western flyway declining in past two decade.

    After the dramatic shrinking for their wintering range, there are two main wintering areas remained for the continental population; but, neither of the two places are secures for the cranes. One place is at DMZ of Korea Peninsula, where is designated not protected area for the cranes, is only a temperate refuge. Another one is at east coast of China, where is Yancheng Nature Reserve; however, the natural habitat for the cranes – costal flood meadow is invading by Spartina alterniflora and the actual suitable area is greatly reduced. With shortage of natural habitat, the cranes were forced foraging in farmlands, fish pond and salt ponds, that open up great risks to be poison and captured by traps.

    Additionally, there are about only about 40% of breeders in the continental population (personal unpublished data), productivity of the cranes is low. With a small population and low productivity, and high pressure from human disturbance, it is very hard to maintain or recover the population, especially for its western population.

    Base on the status of the populations of the Red-crowned Crane, habitat conditions, and threats to the species, I strongly against downlisting the Red-crowned Crane.

  69. Wenni Jiang says:

    I strongly oppose to the downgrading of red-crowned cranes from endangered to vulnerable. As the reasons people voiced above which I totally agree with.

  70. Dongxiao Liu-phd says:

    I oppose the downlisting of Red-crowned Crane from EN to VU regarding genetic diversity. Maintenance of genetic diversity such as Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is important for the crane population persistence .Without gene diversity in MHC, the Crane would suffer compromised disease resilience, facing high risk of extinction. The continental population contributes more genetic diversity than island population. It showed that increasing Island population in Japan (Akiyama, Kohyama et al. 2017, Akiyama, Momose et al. 2017) as well as Korea (Lee, Kim et al. 2020) have low genetic variability. However, migratory population of red-crowned cranes exhibits high polymorphism (Sun, Liu et al. 2020). Unfortunately, China (comprising the main range of the continental population) has seen the most significant declines (Momose and Momose,2019). In that case, it’s still too soon to downlisting. Conservation plans for Red-crowned Crane should include the promotion of genetic exchanges between the continental and island populations. It is nearly impossible for the island population to recover its genetic variation in isolation. In summary, we would better take it into consideration later.

  71. Dr. Liying Su says:

    I oppose the downlisting of Red-crowned Crane from EN to VU.
    One of reasons for downlisting is the total population size is over 3,000 crane; however, there are more than half of the cranes are living Hokkaido of Japan belong to Island population. The island population are very different with the Continental population in behavior and genetic. The population has been suffered the “bottle neck” in early 1930’s very closed to extinction; therefore, they do not have migration behavior, living range small, heavily depend on human assistant for wintering, and their genetic are less divers. Plus, the habitat for the crane in Hokkaido is limited, many cranes are forced to live in very small (low quality) wetlands. All these put the population in a very vulnerable position for any catastrophe. Therefore, we should not put too much weight on the number of the Island population when we are considering persistency of the species.

  72. Hironobu TAJIRI, Preservation Projects, Wild Bird Society of Japan says:

    We think it is too early to downlisting of Red-crowned crane for the following reasons.

    Japanese population has recovered from dozen individuals to about 1,800 by the artificial feeding at the wintering sites. About one hundred years of efforts by local people, governments and NGOs were needed for this recovery.

    In response to this recovery, to avoid the concentration in the artificial feeding area, the Ministry of Environment started to reduce the quantity of artificial food as half as the amount of 2014.

    As a result, survival rate in winter may decrease. Furthermore, as the individuals that forage in other than feeding area (i.e., farmlands or cowsheds) are increasing, we also concern the mortality by the traffic accidents or the collision to power lines may increase.

    Hence, we need more time to observe the population trend and the change of their behavior in Hokkaido.

  73. Takeshi TAKENAKA PhD says:

    I’m studying one of the endangered owl, Blakisoton’s fish owl, of which lives close to RCC habitat.
    The downlisting of RCC is not smart idea given the current situation, although the crane population appears to be recovering especially in Japan.
    The criteria are assessed primarily by population numbers, however, even the number may appear the same at the stage of decline and the stage beginning of recovery, the situation is quite different.
    I think it’s important to assess the population in terms of abundance to warn the world of the stage of decline (although sometimes it’s too late). But even if there are signs of recovery by the conservation, it can no longer be assessed simply by population. It involves complex elements such as conservation efforts, adaptation of RCC to the current environment, and changes in land use and industrial structure not only in the surrounding areas but also at the global economic level.
    Almost all RCC researchers think the current situation surrounding RCC is by no means reassuring, therefore, it is necessary to think carefully about the RCC downlisting.
    Thank you.

  74. CBCGDF says:

    China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) is appealing against the downgrading of Red-Crowned Crane on the IUCN Red List.
    We believe this change in Red List status would be extremely detrimental to the protection of the mainland population of red-crowned cranes living in China. First, the increase in red-crowned cranes is mainly due to an improvement in the population in Hokkaido, Japan. The Hokkaido population, however, is not related to the mainland population, and due to its low genetic diversity it is not representative of the entire species. Second, the western population of red-crowned cranes in China has declined sharply in the past 20 years, from 1,200 in 2000 to less than 400 at present. The situation is still critical. It is reported that, in addition to habitat loss (as a result of climate change) and illegal hunting, raising red-crowned cranes in captivity has become a third primary risk factor threatening this species. An article published on ‘Avian Research’ shows that, by the end of 2013, a total of 1,520 red-crowned cranes are kept in 16 reserves and 83 zoos across the country (603 in reserves and 917 in zoos). Notably, this represents an almost 174% increase in total number of red-crowned cranes kept in captivity over a mere 14-year period (from only 555 in 1999). The article further analyzed that such an unnatural growth can only be achieved by taking new cranes from the wild, i.e. at least 244 would need to be recruited from the wild over a 14-year period, or at a rate of 10-27 per year. According to data presented at the 2019 China Cranes and Habitat Conservation Symposium, as of 2019, there are 2,552 red-crowned cranes in captivity in China — far more than the wild population (no more than 500). Therefore, a downgrade would be extremely detrimental to the protection of red-crowned cranes, the mainland population that lives in our country.
    From March to June 2020, CBCGDF has received reports from two red-crowned crane farms involving 70 so-called domesticated and bred cranes. We are requesting government information disclosure and preparing relevant Environmental Public Interest litigations.

  75. islet says:

    Although the population of the island increased due to artificial feeding, the habitat decreased and human accidents expected to increase further (traffic accidents, collisions with power lines, etc.)
    (http://hokkaido.env.go.jp/kushiro/1904262.pdf) and their conflicts with other people make their lives very unstable.
    Currently, the plan for decentralizing Japanese cranes (http://hokkaido.env.go.jp/kushiro/pre_2013/data/0424aa.pdf) is in progress, and it is unclear what happens to Japanese cranes in the future.
    It is necessary to comprehensively consider the environment surrounding them, rather than just judging by the number.
    Therefore, I think the downgrade of the category is still early.

  76. Mike Gibbons says:

    I oppose the down listing of the Red Crowned Crane from endangered to vulnerable. I found the arguments above put forward by Sergei Smirenski PhD compelling. Please do not change the classification

  77. Dr. Liying Su says:

    I oppose the downlisting of Red-crowned Crane from EN to VU.

    One of reasons for downlisting is the total population size is over 3,000 cranes; however, more than half of the cranes are living in Hokkaido of Japan belonging to the island population. The island population is very different with the Continental population in behavior and genetics. The population has suffered the “bottle neck” in early 1930’s very close to extinction; therefore, they do not have migration behavior, living range small, heavily depend on human assistance for wintering, and their genetics are less diverse. Plus, the habitat for the crane in Hokkaido is limited, many cranes are forced to live in very small (low quality) wetlands. All these put the population in a very vulnerable position for any catastrophe. Therefore, we should not put too much weight on the number of the Island population when we are considering persistency of the species.

    For continental population, it has been facing several serious threats, wetland loss and degradation in both breeding and wintering grounds; poaching, poisoning, and taking of eggs or chicks from the wild, all of which resulted in its population on western flyway declining in past two decades.

    After the dramatic shrinking for their wintering range, there are two main wintering areas remaining for the continental population; but, neither of the two places are secure for the cranes. One place is at DMZ of Korea Peninsula, where no protected area is designated for the cranes; it is only a temporary refuge. Another one is on east coast of China, where is Yancheng Nature Reserve; however, the natural habitat for the cranes – coastal flood meadow is invading by Spartina alterniflora and the actual suitable area is greatly reduced. With shortage of natural habitat, the cranes were forced to forage in farmlands, fish ponds and salt ponds, that open up great risks to be poisoned and captured by traps.

    Additionally, there are about only about 40% of breeders in the continental population (personal unpublished data), productivity of the cranes is low. With a small population and low productivity, and high pressure from human disturbance, it is very hard to maintain or recover the population, especially for its western population.

    Based on the status of the populations of the Red-crowned Crane, habitat conditions, and threats to the species, I strongly insist against downlisting the Red-crowned Crane.

  78. The following information was compiled based on extensive consultation with Red-crowned Crane experts in the IUCN SSC Crane Specialist Group and staff at the International Crane Foundation.

    The following data responds to Criteria A3/A4 based on a decline in Area of Occupancy and in part, habitat quality, in the wintering areas. These declines are most evident in the wild migratory populations wintering in SE China (western population) and Korea (eastern population), with both now limited to small, isolated and vulnerable areas at risk of further habitat deterioration or loss. The non-migratory Hokkaido population, almost exclusively dependent on a few feeding stations in winter, has very limited potential for increase due to saturation of breeding habitat. We note that the Japanese population which comprised over half the wild populations has low genetic diversity and is derived from a few founders following a bottleneck in the 1930s. The majority of the genetic diversity of the species is retained in the significantly threatened migratory populations.

    Given this situation, we strongly propose that the status of Red-crowned Crane remains Endangered.

    Criteria A: Population size reduction of >50% since the 1970s (3 generations or 47.7 Years)

    Using:
    A3 Population reduction projected, inferred or suspected to be met in the future (up to a maximum of 100 years)
    or
    A4 An observed, estimated, inferred, projected or suspected population reduction where the time period must include both the past and the future (up to a max. of 100 years in future), and where the causes of reduction may not have ceased and may not be reversible.
    Based on:
    (c) a decline in area of occupancy (AOO) and habitat quality

    What population sizes do we predict in 50 years?
    • China – Decline of 75% and continuing. 1,200 in 199 to 300 now. Project further loss to zero in 50 years (47.7 years = 3 generations). Based on single small wintering area (Yancheng and Yellow River Delta NNRs) showing continuous decline due to habitat loss caused by invasive species (Spartina) in coastal habitat and lack of other wintering areas due to climatic conditions (severe winter) or lack of habitat.
    • Korea – 500-650 in 1996 to 1,250 in 2017-2918. Current counts overestimate the rate of increase. Accuracy and coverage of winter surveys has increased annually as more birds concentrated at wintering in Civilian Controlled Zone (CCZ), where they are more easily counted compared to Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). In last ten years DMZ has become less suitable for RCC as former wetlands have reverted to forested habitats. The 1996 total is likely an underestimate for this reason. Habitat has significantly declined in last 10 years due to extensive development of greenhouses and urban infrastructure, leading to concentrations in one main area (Cheorwon) and two smaller areas (Yeoncheon and Han River). The area of the CCZ has been reduced in 1995 and again in 2012, with a proposed additional reduction of 30% currently proposed (see Slide). Once areas of the CCZ are opened for development, infrastructure and population settlement renders the habitat untenable for Red-crowned Cranes. No alternative habitats exist. Experts project significant loss of 90% in 47.7 years if development plans go ahead (likely in next 47.7 years) leaving a small, highly concentrated population maintained by artificial feeding.
    Japan – Increase 600 in 1995-1996 to 1,600 in 2017-18. Further expansion of population significantly limited by available habitat. Population dependent almost solely on artificial winter feeding which has helped the island population to grow. However, this has been cut by 10% each year for the past five years and this is likely to continue. Project slightly declining population (10%) at best and 50% at worst in 47.7 years.

    More comment follows …. part2

  79. part 2 of comments

    Criteria B2: Geographic range in the form of B2 (area of occupancy)
    Area of Occupancy <500 km²
    And both:
    (a) <5 locations (CCZ Korea, Yancheng/YRD China and W. Hokkaido, Japan)
    (b) Continuing decline observed, estimated, inferred or projected in any of: (i) extent of occurrence; (ii) area of occupancy; (iii) area, extent and/or quality of habitat; (iv) number of locations or subpopulations; (v) number of mature individuals

    RCC is severely limited by the winter sites/habitat for the migratory populations in China (Yancheng National Nature Reserve with RCCs limited to parts (probably totalling tens of km2 at most) of the 234 km² core zone (Xu et al, 2019; Wang et al 2020; https://en.unesco.org/biosphere/aspac/yancheng) and Korea where birds are becoming increasingly concentrated in small areas of remaining suitable habitat in the Civilian Controlled Zone, a band along the DMZ with a width of between 5 and 15 kms (see above). Perhaps 80% of these birds are located in a 60 km2 area of the Cheorwon plain (Seung et al, 2011), with the rest in <10 km2 pockets of habitat. Based on the current and projected declines of suitable habitat, further population declines are anticipated, due in part to heavy pressure for further development. The species range has contracted since the early 1990s when Red-crowned Cranes wintered at a number of sites in North Korea (781-846 at six sites – Panmunjeom, Ryongyeon, Taetan, Ongj, Kangryong and Anbyon). The species no longer winters in North Korea. In China Su and Zou (2012) estimated the wintering habitat in 2012 was only 8% of the original wintering habitat in the 1980s. Now, it is just a few km2 in Yancheng and Yellow River Delta NNRs. The Hokkaido population is resident and further expansion is limited by the availability of suitable habitat. The breeding population is increasingly fragmented but over a large area, but the population is thought to be limited by problems in the wintering areas, where birds concentrate at feeding stations, totalling <100 km2. Total estimates Area of Occupancy (AOO) for wintering RCCs is estimated at 250-300 km².

    References:

    Xu P, Zhang Y, Zhang X, Chen H, Lu C. 2019. Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) prefers postharvest reed beds during winter period in Yancheng National Nature Reserve. PeerJ 7:e7682 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7682

    Seung HY et al 2011 Wintering Avifauna and Community Changes in response to agricultural intensification in Cheorwon, Korea J. Korea Nature 4.4: 287-292

    Su L and Zou H 2012 Status, threats and conservation needs of the continental population of Red-crowned Crane. Chinese Birds 3: 147-164

    Wang G, Wang C, Guo Z, Gai L, Wu L. Li Y, Chen H, Zhao Y, Cheng H. Ma T, Xue F. 2020. Integrating Maxent model and landscape ecology theory for studying spatiotemporal dynamics of habitat: Suggestions for conservation of endangered Red-crowned crane. Ecological Indictors 16.

  80. Yachang Cheng says:

    As a researcher on avian migration, I strongly oppose the down-listing of the Red-crowned Crane from endangered to vulnerable. As evidence had been provided by the leading scientists and experts in the front line of Red-Crowned Crane conservation posted above, the global population increase of this species owes to the resident population which lost their migratory behaviour. What I want to emphasize here is the tremendous value of conserving migratory behaviour and migratory populations. As a long-live and long-distance migrant, crane’s migration behaviour is social transmitted and learned. Once it lost, it is challenging to regain the behaviour and it is cost-inefficient for conservation actions. Meanwhile, the higher diversity of migratory behaviour would improve the resilience of species in response to global change(Gilroy et al. 2016). Currently, conservation strategies are mainly focused on demographic and geographic response. However, we should preserve not only the genetically defined and evolutionarily significant units but also the behaviourally/culturally distinguished units(Brakes et al. 2019). Not even mentioning the migratory and resident population could be two subspecies as Dr George Archibald pointed out.

    Brakes, P., Dall, S.R.X., Aplin, L.M., Bearhop, S., Carroll, E.L., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J.K.B., Garland, E.C., Keith, S.A., McGregor, P.K., Mesnick, S.L., Noad, M.J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Robbins, M.M., Simmonds, M.P., Spina, F., Thornton, A., Wade, P.R., Whiting, M.J., Williams, J., Rendell, L., Whitehead, H., Whiten, A. & Rutz, C. 2019. Animal cultures matter for conservation. Science (80-. ). 363: 1032–1034.
    Gilroy, J.J., Gill, J.A., Butchart, S.H.M., Jones, V.R. & Franco, A.M.A. 2016. Migratory diversity predicts population declines in birds. Ecol. Lett. 19: 308–317.

  81. CBCGDF says:

    CBCGDF is appealing against the downgrading of Red-Crowned Crane on the IUCN Red List

    We believe this change in Red List status would be extremely detrimental to the protection of the mainland population of red-crowned cranes living in China. First, the increase in red-crowned cranes is mainly due to an improvement in the population in Hokkaido, Japan. The Hokkaido population, however, is not related to the mainland population, and due to its low genetic diversity it is not representative of the entire species. Second, the western population of red-crowned cranes in China has declined sharply in the past 20 years, from 1,200 in 2000 to less than 400 at present. The situation is still critical. It is reported that, in addition to habitat loss (as a result of climate change) and illegal hunting, raising red-crowned cranes in captivity has become a third primary risk factor threatening this species. An article published on ‘Avian Research’ shows that, by the end of 2013, a total of 1,520 red-crowned cranes are kept in 16 reserves and 83 zoos across the country (603 in reserves and 917 in zoos). Notably, this represents an almost 174% increase in total number of red-crowned cranes kept in captivity over a mere 14-year period (from only 555 in 1999). The article further analyzed that such an unnatural growth can only be achieved by taking new cranes from the wild, i.e. at least 244 would need to be recruited from the wild over a 14-year period, or at a rate of 10-27 per year. According to data presented at the 2019 China Cranes and Habitat Conservation Symposium, as of 2019, there are 2,552 red-crowned cranes in captivity in China — far more than the wild population (no more than 500). Therefore, a downgrade would be extremely detrimental to the protection of red-crowned cranes, the mainland population that lives in our country.
    From March to June 2020, CBCGDF has received reports from two red-crowned crane farms involving 70 so-called domesticated and bred cranes. We are requesting government information disclosure and preparing relevant Environmental Public Interest litigations.

  82. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this discussion. We greatly appreciate the time and effort invested by so many people in commenting. The window for consultation is now closed. We will analyse and interpret the new information and post a preliminary decision on this species’s Red List status on this page in early July.

    Thank you once again,
    BirdLife Red List Team

  83. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Preliminary proposal

    Many thanks to all those who commented on the proposed reassessment of Red-crowned Crane. Recognising the level of concern over the proposed reclassification of this species, we have decided to pend the reassessment for now, to allow more time for consultation. As the Red List Authority for Birds, we are obliged to apply the IUCN Red List Criteria and Categories strictly and consistently according to the IUCN Red List Guidelines, to assess the global extinction risk at species level. Failure to do so may result in our assessments being rejected by IUCN. Many other factors (besides species’ global extinction risk) may of course be involved in setting conservation priorities, including subglobal (e.g. national or flyway) Red List assessments, but these are separate from our remit. Once the 2020 Red List update for birds is complete, we look forward to engaging further with key constituencies and stakeholders, to discuss and explain the rationale for the proposed reassessment in more detail, and to address concerns around the proposed status change.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline in mid-July, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from the initial proposal.

    The final 2020 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2020/January 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN. The final publication date will be publicised by IUCN here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/assessment/updates

  84. Many thanks to the Red List team for its appreciation of the widespread concern expressed over the proposed downlisting of Red-crowned Crane and the further explanation of the process. On behalf of the International Crane Foundation and our collaborators, we appreciate the decision to pend the reassessment for now, giving us time to work with experts to gather and refine the data and information required to make a sound decision. We also thank the Red List team for its offer to engage further with key constituencies and stakeholders and look forward to taking you up on this offer to better understand the information needed and how to collect and apply that.

  85. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Recommended categorisations to be put forward to IUCN

    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2020 Red List is to pend the decision on this species and keep the discussion open until 2021, hence there will be no new assessment for this species in the 2020 update.

    Many thanks for everyone who contributed to the 2020 GTB Forum process. Final 2020 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2020/January 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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