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Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) Fact Sheet
Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis)
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.
Species: Grus japonensis - Red-crowned Crane
7-10 kg (15-22 lb)
158 cm (5 ft)
220-250 cm (7-8 ft)
Adults have a large red patch on head. White body with white primary and black secondary/tertiary feathers. Black on neck.
Juveniles with white, cinnamon brown, gray.
|Distribution & Status
||Behavior & Ecology
Japan, Korea, China, southeast Russia
Reed, sedge, and cat-tail marshes.
Reed swamps in China.
Crop or pasture land, dykes.
Endangered (2016 assessment)
Population in Wild
Global population about 2800-3300 individuals; only about 1830 mature individuals.
Walk slowly, but can run quickly (up to 40 km/hr or 25 mph). Fly in straight lines or "V" formations.
Spend much of the day feeding. Roost at night.
Live and breed in flocks.
Omnivorous: insects, aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, rodents; reeds, grasses, and other plants.
Of adults: birds of prey, escaped mink
Of eggs and juveniles: Dogs, foxes, raccoon dogs, badgers, martens may prey on young. Crows and ravens prey on eggs and hatchlings.
|Reproduction & Development
0.15 kg (5 oz)
Age at Fledging
About 95 days
Up to 70 years in managed care.
Unknown in the wild; estimated 20-40 years.
- Second rarest crane, after whooping crane
- Only 33 individuals remained in Japan after WWII; today about 1830 mature individuals (Endangered)
- Dance behavior establishes and maintains pair bonds
- Spend up to three-quarters of daylight hours feeding
- Distinctive high- and low-pitched vocalizations
- Maintain "personal space" among each other in their marsh homes
- Require dead vegetation for breeding
- Flight feathers fall out simultaneously every 2 years; cranes are temporarily flightless
- Breed readily in managed care; San Diego Zoo has bred since 1985
- Red-crowned cranes are associated with nobility and immortality in China
About This Fact Sheet
© 2011-2017 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor Conservation update 2017.
How to cite: Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) Fact Sheet. c2011-2017. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/ redcrownedcrane
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to email@example.com.
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