The Siberian Crane is the most precarious of the fifteen global species of Cranes, with under 4,000 left in the Anthropocene Era. And we’re talking of the eastern population that breeds way up in eastern Siberia and winters in China. The Siberian Crane’s western population breeds in west Siberia and one branch of it used to over-winter in Iran. Well, guess how many of them are left. Here’s one of the saddest articles I’ve ever read, “Last Siberian Crane appears in Azerbaijan” in the magazine Bird Guides:
The last remaining Siberian Crane from the western population has been seen in Azerbaijan for the first time in a decade. The male crane, which is fondly known as Omid – Persian for ‘Hope’ – has returned to spend each winter alone at Fereydoon Kenar, in northern Iran, since February 2009, when the last surviving female died during a winter storm.
Birders are now following Omid on his journey but the magazine notes that this is, of course, “an irreversible path to oblivion.” I attempt to picture oblivion. How to do that?