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Chester Zoo Awarded Funding for Two Black Crowned Crane Projects
The Chester Zoo awarded £7925 (approximately $13,200) for the project, "Conservation of Black Crowned Cranes in the rice growing zone of coastal West Africa." The project covers the region from The Gambia down to Sierra Leone, with special focus on Guinea-Bissau. Project goals include to determine the distribution and status of the Black Crowned Crane in the rice-growing coastal zone of West Africa; identify and map key sites for this species in this zone and develop preliminary plans for conservation management in these sites; develop a monitoring system for cranes in this zone; improve awareness of the cranes and of their wetland habitats through community meetings and production of local awareness materials; improve protection status of cranes and other species through appointment and support of local site guardians; and improve local capacity for wise use of wetlands through local community workshops. We are grateful to Roger Wilkinson and the Chester Zoo for this support, which will be administered through Wetlands International.

The Chester Zoo also awarded £1990 (approximately $3320) for the project "Towards Conservation of the Black Crowned Crane Balearica pavonina in Nigeria: A Survey and Participatory Rural Appraisal in Selected Communities in the Species’ Range." The project will identify communities in and around the current range areas of the species in Nigeria, with a view to assessing the potentials for participatory community-based conservation initiatives, using the Black Crowned Crane as a flagship species. Project Objectives include to revisit and count cranes at two sites in northeastern Nigeria and one site in northwestern Nigeria where sightings of the species were made during the year 2000 survey; and to conduct Rapid Rural Appraisals (RRAs) in three selected communities around these sites with a view to ascertaining their suitability for participatory community-based natural resources conservation.

April 2003