New conservation plans for the Siberian Crane covering its entire range and migration routes that span continents have now been endorsed to save the species from extinction. During its annual migration the Siberian Crane travels 5,000km from its breeding grounds in western Siberia and Yakutia, intermediate resting and feeding places, to its wintering sites in southern China and Iran.
During these extensive journeys along three migration routes, called flyways, they overcome considerable obstacles such as high mountains and vast deserts. Major threats like hunting in West and Central Asia and the drainage of critical wetlands in East Asia put them at an even greater risk. Only 3,000 to 3,500 birds remain globally. During the last century agricultural use, dams, pollution and inappropriate water management, oil and urban development have destroyed 60% of wetlands in Europe and 90 % worldwide.