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Conserving Whooping Cranes and Their African Cousins, the Wattled Crane: A Journey of Difference, Similarities and Stories From Those Entrusted With Their Protection


Jul 30, 2020 10:38 AM

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Hillary Thompson
North America Program Crane Analyst @International Crane Foundation
Hillary Thompson grew up in central Wisconsin, with cranes calling outside her country home. She left the nest and spread her wings at UW-Madison, where she earned a B.S. in Zoology, Conservation Biology and Scandinavian Studies. From there, she migrated out west and studied a variety of species and ecosystems. She returned to Wisconsin for a Crane Research Internship at the International Crane Foundation and has been studying cranes ever since. After a few years working with cranes in Wisconsin, she earned her M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University, studying wintering habitat of Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. Now she is a biologist studying reintroduced Whooping Cranes for the International Crane Foundation’s North America Program. Hillary coordinates monitoring of Whooping Cranes throughout the flyway and works with interns, volunteers and partner organizations to help us understand how we can help this endangered species.
Lara Jordan
Drakensberg Project Coordinator @International Crane Foundation/Endangered Wildlife Trust
Lara is currently the International Crane Foundation/Endangered Wildlife Trust Partnership’s Drakensberg Project Coordinator, based in the small village of Howick in the Eastern Grasslands of South Africa. Lara completed her Ph.D. in Wattled Cranes in 2018, where she focused on bridging the gap in the conservation of Wattled Cranes focusing on the in situ and ex situ conservation efforts for the species in South Africa. With extensive experience in crane biology, bird behavior and husbandry, Lara brings with her a wealth of crane experience to the project team. But in addition to this, Lara’s passion for people, equality, mental health and well-being brings to our project a valuable perspective and passion for integrating human health and well being with the conservation of cranes.