From Publishers Weekly
This is the story of the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wis., and its founders. Twenty years ago as graduate students in ornithology at Cornell, Ron Sauey and George Archibald dreamed of saving endangered species of cranes and preserving wetlands. They started modestly, with a lease of the family farm from Sauey's parents and the acquisition of some blind and crippled birds. Katz, a contributor to Bird Watcher's Digest and Birder's World , follows the fortunes of the fledgling organization through its growing pains to its emergence as a major force in conservation. It is a captivating account of setbacks and triumphs. A virus killed 22 birds in two weeks and there was a devastating raccoon invasion. But ICF had notable success in artificial insemination and raising cranes in captivity. One of the highlights is the search for wintering Siberian cranes and the transport of fertile eggs from Russia to Baraboo, an example of true international cooperation.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
An uneven history of the International Crane Foundation (ICF) and its efforts to save the world's cranes, by biologist/writer Katz (Bird Watcher's Digest, etc.--not reviewed). Katz chronicles the ups and downs of the ICF, founded in 1973 by two graduate students at Cornell, George Archibald and Ron Sauey, and dedicated to researching crane biology and behavior; conserving crane habitats; propagating captive cranes; restocking wild crane populations; and teaching the public about these birds. Sauey's parents provided the land--a farm in Wisconsin--and the initial financial backing. By 1976, the ICF was home to 14 of the 15 species of cranes in the world and had established an international reputation. In 1978, however, an outbreak of herpes killed many of the foundation's cranes, raising questions about the ways the birds were being cared for. Subsequently, the ICF was reorganized and emerged as a better managed, more financially secure foundation. But Katz provides few details on that most traumatic period in the ICF's history. Moreover, her humans are two-dimensional; it's only her cranes that come alive. While, on the page, Archibald and Sauey remain shadowy personalities, Tex--the nine-year-old whooping crane that thinks she's human and that Archibald dances with to bring into breeding condition--is a memorable character. Meanwhile, Katz's descriptions of the ICF's artificial-insemination program and of how chicks are parented by costumed humans are especially engaging. If increasing public awareness of the plight of cranes is the author's aim, she succeeds--but as a history of a conservation foundation, her text is full of gaps and often dull. The ICF story is wooden--but the cranes dance. (Color & b&w photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.