Dwindling Numbers of Endangered Cranes Worry Environmentalists

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The International Crane Foundation /Endangered Wildlife Trust is working with Nandi, Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties to raise awareness of conserving cranes that continue to dwindle in their numbers over the years.

The initiative also seeks to create awareness over the conservation of wetlands which are a natural habitat to the endangered birds.

Cranes have been identified as important birds as they act as indicators of climate change. This is evidenced by their migratory nature which informs farmers on when to plan for their farming activities in Kenya.

A photo of Cranes.

The loss and continuous destruction of wetlands due to human activities has resulted in reduction of the number of cranes in the country since the cranes fully depend on wetlands for their livelihood and nurturing of their offspring,” says Vivian Kitui, a senior field officer with the International Crane Foundation.

Kitui cautions that most of the wetlands have been used for farming activities making it unconducive for cranes to breed.

Most of our farmers are un aware about the environmental importance of wetlands especially in conserving our environment. These wetlands are crucial for biodiversity and more so as a natural habitat for the Crane birds,” notes the International Crane Foundation senior field officer.

Senior field officer with the International Crane Foundation Vivian Kitui.

According to the 2019 census, there are approximately 8,000 cranes and about ninety five percent of them are adults while the rest are offsprings.

The statistics carried out between 25th February and 11th March in 2019 also indicated that close to 20 percent of the total crane population in Kenya are found within Uasin Gishu County hence the need to educate farmers in the region.

Farmers are complaining of the destruction of crops caused by cranes on their farms and the International Crane Foundation in partnership with Endangered Wildlife Trust is looking forward on the way of minimizing the huge destruction caused by cranes on crops in order to have a win-win situation between livelihood support and conservation of the Cranes,” she said.

Vivian Kitui, a field officer with International Crane Foundation

Kitui noted that cranes are approaching breeding season this year and farmers would be required to provide support to the ongoing conservation efforts by the International Crane Foundation and Endangered Wildlife Trust.

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