#225 Siberian Crane

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 17

If you had really good vision and look off to your left (port) side on this trip with Phileas Fogg, you could possibly see Iran. There used to be a whole population that traveled from Russia to Iran. As of 2019 there was only one remaining crane in Iran. His name is Omid. When the population was discovered, there were only 15, and then there were only 3, and then 2 of them were shot and only Omid. I saw an account from 2014 of him being the only crane in Iran, so I don't know how long he's been all by himself. Essentially, of the 2 main populations, he is all that is left of one. Up to 99% of the cranes winter in China rather than India or Iran. Omid may be making the solitary 3100+ mile flight from Siberia for quite a few more years because while the oldest known crane lived to be 83 years old, they more normally live to 30-35 years old. With any luck, he'll find a friend in Siberia to bring back with him eventually. The female lays 2-3 eggs, but typically only one chick survives. They have a very serious and rather violent sibling rivalry, so winner takes all tends to be the result. Adults have a wingspan of up to 91 inches, and are up to 5 feet tall. They are said to have a flute-like musical voice unlike most cranes. They rely on wetlands along their migratory routes. The biggest threat to them is the loss of those wetlands and the destruction of wintering sites. Dams, drought, draining wetlands, diverting water for people or livestock, all of that is leading to population decline.

Well, we were very lucky last night. This tree fell over at some point. It was never my favourite tree, it always looked sad. I think it was a weeping cypress so it was supposed to look sad, but I never was very pleased with the look of the tree. It is large enough it would have taken out the shed of our behind-us neighbour if it had fallen straight back. If it had fallen just a little bit more to the right or if we didn't still have my kids' play structure, it would have hit our neighbour's fence or even part of their home. If it had fallen directly toward our home, it would have taken out our kitchen or my bedroom. The tree really couldn't have picked a better spot to fall even though it did ruin the roof of the play structure. Thankfully my kids don't play on it anymore. It looks as if while it had a large taproot, it didn't have any other roots anymore. We had 2 paper birch trees next to this tree, but beetles killed one of them and really did damage to the other one. When we moved into the house it was lovely and shady in the afternoon and now we won't have any shade.

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