Crane conservation efforts paying off in KwaZulu-Natal

Recently published research shows that sustained and targeted efforts in conservation can reverse adverse trends – no doubt aided by nature’s astonishing power to regenerate itself, given half a chance.

Floater flock of cranes in KZN wetlands (Photograph: Daniel Dolpire)

Cranes are a subject close to the heart of Friends of Verloren Valei and people who live in or visit the area. The reserve was once a noted crane conservation pioneer with the renowned project to rear crane chicks using a human surrogate mother. Read more about this project.

With KwaZulu-Natal now the focus of crane conservation, the publication of a paper assessing the effectiveness of the conservation efforts is welcome – doubly so because the news is good. Based on data collected in standardised surveys conducted between 2003 and 2019, a “steady and significant increase in the population size of all three crane species” is evident. Interventions have included measures to prevent collision with power lines and formal engagement with landowners.

Read the full paper.

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