Why We Care
Africa’s four crane species, Grey and Black Crowned, Blue and Wattled Cranes, are taken from the wild for local domestication and captive trade markets. This trade is one of the primary threats to Black and Grey Crowned Cranes, with a significant impact on their wild populations.
What We Do
The African Crane Trade Project is developing a model program to reduce the impact of captive crane trade on wild cranes by targeting supply within Africa and demand both within Africa and globally.
Our efforts focus on understanding the complex supply and demand chains that affect cranes; creating awareness of the status of Africa’s resident cranes and the threat that trade poses to wild populations; and advocating for changes in policies and legislation that govern the trade in cranes, both locally and internationally.
How You Can Help
1. Your purchase of our new Grey Crowned Crane plush toy supports the ICF/EWT Partnership for African Cranes and our efforts to protect this iconic species. From it’s pom-pom crown to its toes, the exclusive 9″ Grey Crowned Crane celebrates all of the best features of this charismatic species. Price: $17.99
2. Donate gently-used binoculars for crane monitoring projects in Africa. If you have gently-used binoculars that you wish to donate, please contact [email protected] for more information on how to direct your donation.
3. Write to your local zoo and ask them not to buy wild-caught cranes or cranes of unknown origin. Zoos and other captive breeding centers play a critical role in ensuring that crowned cranes are bred responsibly. Click here to download and customize our sample letter.
4. If you work at a zoo or captive breeding center, download our factsheet, How Zoos Can Help, to learn how you can become involved, and view the companion video Grey Crowned Cranes Need Our Help! This four-minute video is an important tool for raising awareness of the severe threat that illegal trade poses to the Grey Crowned Crane’s survival and helps address one of the greatest needs: alerting captive facilities, wildlife authorities, and the public about actions they can take to safeguard this charismatic species.
In February 2010 Endangered Wildlife Trust staff returned four Blue Cranes to the Karoo in South Africa. The cranes were confiscated from traders who had illegally captured the birds from the wild. Three of the cranes are pictured, with wraps to keep them calm during the transfer, just prior to release. Photo by Bradley Gibbons, Endangered Wildlife Trust.