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Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology

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The status of cranes in Africa in 2005

Richard D Beilfuss, Tim Dodman, Emil K Urban

Abstract


Of the six species of cranes occurring in Africa, the Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina) is Near-threatened, the Wattled Crane (Grus carunculatus) and Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradiseus) are Vulnerable, the Grey Crowned Crane (B. regulorum) is rapidly declining, and the Atlas Mountain population of Demoiselle Crane (A. virgo) may be Extinct. Over the past decade, intensive coordinated surveys have resulted in significant revisions to the population estimates for Africa's cranes. The total population of Wattled Crane, previously estimated at 13 000–15 000 birds, now numbers less than 8 000 individuals and the species is in decline in as many as nine of 11 countries in its range. The B. p. pavonina population is highly fragmented and has been reduced to approximately 15 000 birds, whilst it is likely that the B. p. ceciliae population is also in decline. The East African population of Grey Crowned Crane (B. r. gibbericeps) has been reduced to 43 000–55 000 birds, an almost 50% decline in the past 20 years. The estimated population of Blue Cranes (>25 580) reflects a slight increase over previous estimates but is substantially lower than historical levels. Crane numbers are seriously affected by degradation and disturbance of breeding grounds and capture for domestication and trade.

Ostrich 2007, 78(2): 175–184



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