Saving Cranes and Their Wetland Habitats



Covering 16,000 acres of land, Muraviovka Park protects one of the few remaining undisturbed wetlands within the immense floodplains of Russia’s Amur River Basin. This wetland, with adjacent croplands, provides critical habitat for more than 200 species of birds, 20 of which are rare and vulnerable to extinction. Most notable are six species of elegant cranes which use the area for resting, nesting and raising their young.

Cranes are one of the most endangered families of birds in the world—especially in places like Muraviovka Park where habitat loss, water resources development and climate change are already taking a toll on the landscape. Among those that rely on this critical habit are the endangered white-naped crane with less than 6,700 birds left in the wild, and the red-crowned crane, whose population is down to less than 3,500 individuals worldwide. Protecting these wetlands can not only save cranes, but it can protect the safety and welfare of local communities.



Cranes of Asia: Muraviovka Park

A Woodland Park Zoo Conservation Partner

Woodland Park Zoo partners with Muraviovka Park and the International Crane Foundation to protect critical habitats for endangered cranes and to help meet the needs of people who live in the region. Directed by Dr. Sergei Smirenski, the program combines specific conservation actions for wildlife—including wildfire suppression—with educational opportunities, events and activities for residents of local communities. With this approach, the park is able to win trust, respect and cooperation from local and international people and organizations who share a vision for healthy co-existence of migratory water birds and people.

Good News for Cranes and People

Protecting Habitat

Muraviovka Park’s wetlands are now recognized as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.

Back from the Brink

In 2017, Muraviovka Park experienced record high breeding success for white-naped cranes, with 19 chicks fledged.

Food and Protection for Birds

Muraviovka Park grows corn, barley, wheat, soybean and sunflower that are used to feed birds over the winter. In addition to providing nourishment, this helps to keep them from leaving to look for food, and protects them from power line collisions – a major concern.

Educating Communities

This program offers environmental education workshops and summer camps for thousands of children, teachers, and community members from the Amur Region, including childrens’ homes and social shelters.



How You Can Help

Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality for all. Every local sustainable action you take in your own backyard, such as planting native plants, helps to offset the effects of global climate change—one of the biggest threat to wetlands.


Learn More About Cranes

Cranes typically mate for life and are renowned for their spectacular and elaborate courtship dances. They gracefully circle each other while leaping and calling, head-bobbing toward one another and bowing with spread wings. These dances continue throughout the year as the birds continually reinforce their pair bonds.

Red-crowned cranes are among the rarest and largest cranes in the world, reaching 5 feet or more with wingspans that measure more than 8 feet across.

The white-naped crane can grow to more than 4 feet tall and is known as a symbol of peace for the people of the Korean peninsula.

Other endangered and threatened species that rely on the wetlands of Muravioka Park include the Oriental white stork, bean and white-fronted geese and hooded cranes.