The tancho, or red-crested Japanese crane, is one of the symbolic features that represent Kushiro Marsh. They are the largest in size among wild birds of Japan and when their wings are spread, they measure over two meters. They inhabit only the eastern part of Hokkaido. Although they faced extinction in the past, with devoted preservation activities of local residents such as to preserve their rearing environment and feeding them during winter when food is hard to find, now the population has increased to over 1,000 birds. Tanchos are resident birds and many can be seen during the winter feeding season.