Dr. George Archibald

Dr. George Archibald was one of the two co-founders and is currently a Trustee of the International Crane Foundation (ICF), headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Dr. Archibald is considered one of the world's leading authorities on cranes. In 1972, Dr. Archibald went to Japan to study wintering Red-crowned Cranes on the island of Hokkaido. This flock, which winters at feeding stations, was thought to breed in Siberia. Dr. Archibald, however, discovered that the entire flock was nesting in a marsh on the north end of Hokkaido. Mush of the area was targeted for development, so he led a public awareness campaign to save the wetlands. The effort culminated in an audience with the royal family, and a significant portion of the marsh was preserved. Along with Ronald Sauey, a colleague from Cornell University, Dr. Archibald established the International Crane Foundation in 1973, as the world center for the study and preservation of cranes. Earlier that year he had traveled to Australia to confirm the presence of the rare Eastern Sarus Crane - a subspecies that had recently arrived in Australia and was later thought to be extinct in its former range of southeast Asia. Dr. Archibald captured six of the cranes in Australia and took them to ICF for captive breeding. One of the first goals for the ICF was to establish a 'species bank' of captive cranes. Under Dr. Archibald's supervision, ICF now has the world's largest and most complete collection of cranes, and has been credited with the first captive breeding of two endangered species. The Eastern Sarus Crane bred successfully at ICF, and a reintroduction program is now underway in Thailand. In the seventies and eighties, Dr. Archibald and the ICF were instrumental in local and international efforts that helped preserve habitat and raise public awareness for the benefit of the survival of White-napped and Red-crowned Cranes in Korea, the rarer Siberian Crane and cranes in China, amongst other projects. One of his most treasured goals is to use cranes as vehicles for cooperation between politically polarized nations. His efforts culminated in 1983, when an International Crane Workshop was convened in India. It was attended by delegates from 22 countries. Dr. Archibald is also famous as the man who danced with a crane. He successfully bred "Tex", a human- imprinted Whooping Crane, by imitating the courtship dancing and behavior of a male crane. The offspring of this breeding, "Gee Whiz" has seven offspring, himself. Dr. Archibald is also well known in conservation circles for his efforts with cranes and has accumulated numerous awards and recognitions for his work from international conservation organizations and from royalty. Dr. Archibald now lives in Baraboo, Wisconsin, where he remains as Director of ICF and where he enjoys gardening and is active in his church.