Siberian White Crane

(Grus leucogeranus)




Facts about this animal

Siberian cranes stand about 1.4 m tall, with an average weight of 5.1-8.6 kg in males and 4.9-7.3 kg in females. Otherwise the sexes are alike.

The plumage of the Siberian Crane is nearly entire white. The front of the face and forecrown is bare and red with thin bristles of white or yellow-brown colour on centre of crown, and the tips of the wings are black.

The bill is brown-red or brick-red with slightly paler tip. It is long, slender and laterally compressed. The legs and feet are pale red, pink, or dull red, with black claws. The iris is pale yellow, in some birds it may be t9nged pink, ivory or red.

The Siberian crane is the most aquatic of the cranes, exclusively using wetlands for nesting, feeding, and roosting. For nesting, wide expanses of shallow fresh water with good visibility are preferred.

As in other cranes, usually two eggs are laid, which are incubated for about 29 days by both parents. The chicks fledge (first flight) at approximately 70-75 days.

Siberian cranes feed on cranberries, rodents, fish and insects. On migration and on the wintering grounds, they excavate nutrient rich roots and tubers from wetlands. They are predominantly vegetarian outside their breeding season.

Did you know?
that for reaching their wintering grounds in India, Sibnerian cranes have to fly over the Himalaya Mountains almost at cruising altitude for jetliners?


Class AVES
Suborder GRUES
Name (Scientific) Grus leucogeranus
Name (English) Siberian White Crane
Name (French) Grue blanche d'Asie, Grue nonne
Name (German) Schneekranich, Nonnenkranich
Name (Spanish) Grulla blanca asiática
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Appendix I Included in AEWA



Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka



Range There are two or more breeding areas in the tundra/taiga transition zone of Siberia (Russia), and there are two wintering populations, the western migrating to Iran and India, and the eastern to China.
Habitat Wetlands
Wild population Western subpopulation: 4 (2002) and Poyang Lake: 3,750 (2008) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population About 200, of which 58 reported to ISIS (2005)

In the Zoo

Siberian White Crane


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 17 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka

Why do zoos keep this animal

The Siberian crane is rated critically endangered by IUCN. With a view of building up a reserve population and supporting reintroductions, an International Studbook has been established under the WAZA umbrella, and coordinated conservation breeding programmes are operated at the regional level by EAZA and JAZA.