Sarus Crane (Grus Antigone) | WWF

Sarus Crane (Grus Antigone)

Sếu đầu đỏ tại Tràm Chim
© WWF-Vietnam
The Sarus Crane reaches a standing height of nearly 1.8m (71 inches) and is the tallest flying bird in the world.
The Central Indochina Dry Forests are home to the Eastern Sarus, which were historically widespread on expanses of wetlands throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Burma, Yunnan (China), and Thailand.
It is believed that less than 1000 individuals still exist in Indochina.
In Vietnam, in recent years, Sarus Crane is back to wetlands in the Plain of Reeds due to the restoration of habitat that has become quite close to their previous natural conditions, helping to reinstate their feeding areas to fulfill their needs for food. Each year, there are approximately 20 individuals observed in this area.
A full-grown Eastern Sarus Crane is the biggest species of cranes; their height is up to 152-180 cm (60 – 70 inches) with a wingspan of 220-250 cm (87 – 98 inches). Their body mass was found to average 8 – 10 kg (17.6 – 22 Ibs). Sarus Cranes forage in shallow water (usually with less than 30 cm (12 inches) depth of water) or in fields, frequently probing in mud with their long bills. They are omnivorous, eating insects, aquatic plants, fish, frogs, crustaceans and some small vertebrates.

What are the main threats?

Sarus Crane is a rare bird species, which are protected by the laws of most countries where they distribute, including Vietnam.
The main threat to the Sarus Crane in Vietnam is habitat loss and the degradation of food resources due to the influence of human activities. Climate change and other unforeseen impacts are also the big issues concerning Sarus Crane.
Moreover, a lower threat in Vietnam is the wildlife trade of eggs, chicks and adults, and hunting of eggs and adults for food.

What is WWF-Vietnam doing?

Great Plain of Reeds is the residence of the Sarus Crane in Vietnam. However, the management of hydrological regime for fire protection has led to the alternation of Sarus Crane’s habitat and the degradation of food resources. Sadly, this species had mostly disappeared from this region for years. Since 2007, WWF has launched several projects in the effort of habitat restoration in Tram Chim National Park, a part of the Plain of Reeds, to the traditional conditions of habitat of Sarus Crane. After so many endeavors of WWF-Vietnam, the food resources of Serus Crane, purple spike rush, has grown back. After that, happily, we have observed the return of this Crane in recent years.
Following the achieved successes, WWF is applying the model of successful projects in Lang Sen Reserve, the remaining wetlands of the Great Plain of Reeds. 

Sarus Crane

	© Nguyen Van Hung/ WWF-Vietnam

Scientific name: Grus Antigone sharpii
Height: 150 – 180 cm (59 – 71 inches)
Weight: 8 – 10 kg (18 – 22 Ibs)
Habitat: Marshes, shallow waters and wetlands

Sarus Crane is the tallest species of flying birds on earth. Sarus live peaceful, united and they are the ambassador of environment. Each pair of Sarus Crane will pair only one time in their lifetime. If one in a pair passes away, the remaining one will be faithful and even “starve” to death. Therefore, Sarus Crane is considered as the symbol of fidelity and enduring love.