“Burnaby was one of the first communities in Canada to recognize the economic and cultural opportunities of “friendships” with Asian cities and has supported a very active sister city relationship with Kushiro, Japan since 1965.” City of Burnaby
In 2005, The City of Burnaby celebrated the 40th anniversary of its Exchange Affiliation agreement with Kushiro in 2015, by installing a eco-sculpture of two Tancho Cranes.
“The Japanese name of the species (Tancho) is derived from the red crown (tan = red & cho = crown). Indigenous people of Hokkaido, the Aynu, think that spirits inhabited in all creatures. They called the red-crowned crane ‘saruronkamui’ which means the ‘god of wetland’.” Wild Bird Society of Japan
Kushiro is recognized for its preservation of the Kushiro Marsh Wetland and saving the Tancho crane from extinction. Tancho Cranes are only found in Hokkaido. Once thought to be extinct, small numbers were rediscovered in 1924 residing in the Kushiro Wetland.
According to the Government of British Columbia, The Sandhill Crane, once abundant, has “declined across North America due to habitat loss, disturbance and unregulated hunting. It is not known whether British Columbia’s present breeding population is increasing or decreasing, but it is clear that breeding populations in the Southern Interior and in the Fraser Valley were decimated in the last century.”
Thank you for joining me on Burnaby Mountain to celebrate the many men and women who work tirelessly to save these remarkable winged creatures.
As Wendell Berry reminds us, “The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”