Japanese Cranes (Grus japonensis), Hokkaido, Japan
The red-crowned crane is one of Japan’s most charismatic and emblematic animals. At approximately four feet tall, the cranes dance, jump, and chase one another in a poetic courtship display of great importance since they mate for life; their exuberant calls ring throughout the mountain valleys. Once found throughout Asia, Japanese cranes are now endangered. However, recent efforts to maintain a habitat in Hokkaido have produced a comeback and offer hope for the cranes’ survival in Japan.