Kerryn Morrison, Tanya Smith and Harriet Davies-Mostert
International Crane Foundation – Endangered Wildlife Trust Partnership


Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum), once common and abundant across their range in east and southern Africa, were recently uplisted to Endangered on the IUCN Red Data List. With an estimated decline of between 65 and 80% over the past 45 years, and the trend continuing unabated, the Grey Crowned Crane is currently the fastest declining crane species in the world. Without concerted conservation action on several fronts, scaling up from current activities or new initiatives starting now, the future of this species is tenuous. The key outcomes of a Single Species Action Planning Workshop, hosted by the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and the Rwandan government, and organised by the International Crane Foundation – Endangered Wildlife Trust Partnership, will be outlined, and the need for collaborative efforts stressed. Addressing the immediate threats of the unsustainable illegal removal of chicks from the wild, maintaining viable wetland habitats in collaboration with local communities, and finding effective solutions to reduce crop damage are currently the three most pressing issues. The African Crane Trade Project is exploring and addressing the trade in all areas and countries from which wild caught cranes are collected and traded, through the trade routes and transit countries, to the demand sector keeping these cranes in captivity. The African Cranes, Wetlands and Communities Project is working towards improving the ecological integrity and security of wetlands, in collaboration with in-country partners, communities and other relevant stakeholders, at twenty key sites important to cranes across Africa. Only through using a large scale multi-pronged approach, in collaboration with key relevant partners and stakeholders, and by using the best available information which is only possible by drawing on extensive networks and through collaborations, will the future of Grey Crowned Cranes be secured.

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Email Tanya Smith