Kenyan firm launches campaign to conserve grey crowned cranes
Grey Crowned Crane. /Xinhua
Grey Crowned Crane. /Xinhua

Grey Crowned Crane. /Xinhua

Kenyan conservation organization on Friday launched a campaign to conserve grey crowned cranes and save them from extinction.

Joseph Mwangi, country manager at the Crane and Wetlands Conservation Project, said the grey crowned cranes are threatened with extinction.

"The bird population has decreased by 90 percent in the last 35 years due to poaching and rapid loss of their habitat," Mwangi said during a planning meeting in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

The bird status has been reduced from least concerned and now threatened with extinction according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) classification.

Mwangi said the population of grey crowned cranes stands at 8,000 according to a census done in 2019.

He said the consortium has embarked on assessing the bird population, looking at their breeding grounds, and also tracking them after placing rings and bands on their legs.

Solomon Kyalo, head of Multilateral Environment Agreements at Kenya Wildlife Service, said those found poaching grey crowned cranes will be prosecuted. Kyalo added that the restoration of the crane's habitat and awareness creation amongst populations are ongoing to ensure that the birds are protected.

The campaign includes paying attention to the livelihoods of communities around wetlands by providing them with beehives, poultry and introducing climate-smart agriculture.

Mwangi noted that the consortium has earmarked a number of activities, such as reducing threats causing adult and juvenile survival, and reducing threats causing a high degree of habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation to ensure the success of the campaign.

He added that the campaign is also looking into controlling soil erosion, reducing dependence on inorganic fertilizer, promoting crop diversification and introducing drought resistance crops.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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