June 12, 2020 in
Join us for our webinar with Kerryn Morrison, Vice President International: Director of Africa, on Thursday, June 25, at 11 a.m. Central Time. Click here to register.
Icons of Africa, Grey Crowned and Black Crowned Cranes are sought across the world for their beauty and charisma, adding value to captive collections and adorning homesteads, restaurants and hotels. Taken from the wild as chicks, these cranes are domesticated as time pieces or status symbols in countries across Africa or moved through market chains across the world. Sadly, this wild-caught trade has become a key driver in their decline, significantly added to as chicks become increasingly accessible as wetlands are degraded and fragmented.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rocks the world and global discussions focus on wet markets and bushmeat, one wonders whether the captive trade will come too into the spotlight, and provide an opportunity now to focus on and reduce the threat of live captive trade. Having focused on this since 1998, we have made significant progress over the years on several fronts. But as a complex, ever-changing issue, there is still a lot more to understand and strategies that we need to explore and implement to address the issue effectively. As a flagship species for many other birds, small mammals and reptiles in the illegal captive trade, can we now use the charisma and iconic status of these cranes to address the very reason that they are currently in decline?