Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
Africa
Grey crowned crane at Martin Mere * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Brian Waswala (Kenya)
Region : Dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara
Status : Endangered
Introduction
The grey crowned crane is are beautiful majestic bird with grey bodies, white wings with feathers ranging from white to brown to gold, head topped with stiff golden feathers, white cheek patches, red gular sack under chin, black legs and feet, short, grey bill. It can be encountered in eastern and southern Africa. Races It has two sub-species (races) i.e. B. r. gibbericeps encountered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, and B. r. regulorum found from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Angola. Habitat Grey-crowned cranes can be encountered in dry savannah and wetlands in Africa (marshes, riverbanks, open riverine woodlands, shallowly flooded plains, croplands and irrigated areas. They are non-migratory, but undertake variable local and seasonal movements, and are most abundant in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Forage Grey-crowned cranes feed on hydrophytes, seeds, insects, frogs, lizards, worms, crabs, snakes, small fish and the eggs of aquatic animals. Breeding Grey-craned cranes lay a clutch of 2-5 glossy, dirty-white eggs during the breeding season. The eggs are incubated by both sexes for 28 days. Chicks are precocial, can run as soon as they hatch. Conservation Status The grey crowned crane is the national bird of Uganda and features in the country's flag and coat of arms. Its population has declined 50-79% across most of the species’ range over the last 45 years (excluding South Africa, where the population has remained stable).

This decline is attributed to:
- Increased habitat loss and degradation of wetlands (land-use, drainage and overgrazing)
- Illegal collection of live birds and eggs from the wild
- Increased use of agricultural pesticides and poisoning
- Increased sedimentation rates in riparian areas
- Increased grass and deep litter bush fires especially during the breeding season
- Dam construction and over-abstraction of groundwater extraction, leading to changes in hydrological regimes and
- Indirect disturbance from the hunting of large mammals or ducks in wetlands and the activities of fisheries. To reduce further decline, conservation education initiatives focusing on education and wetland conservation have been initiated. This is complimented by addressing the growing threat of illegal trade in the species.

Reference :
Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_crowned_crane
IUCN : http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22692046/0

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