Understanding the Future of the Agriculturally Dependent Blue Crane in the Western Cape, South Africa
Thursday, August 13, 2020, 11 a.m. Central Time
Join us for our webinar with Blue Crane Ph.D. Candidate, Western Cape Field Officer and Leiden Conservation Graduate Fellow Christie Craig on Thursday, August 13, at 11 a.m. Central Time.
The Blue Crane is the world’s most range-restricted crane species, occurring mainly in South Africa with a tiny population in Namibia. In the late 1900s, the Blue Crane population declined rapidly in their natural grassland habitat. Fortuitously, at much the same time, the Blue Crane was colonizing a new area of the country, the wheatlands of the Western Cape. Today more than half of the world’s Blue Cranes are now found in this intensively farmed area of South Africa. This change poses some unique conservation challenges, as cranes are living near people and livestock.
In this webinar, we will explore the interesting history of how the Blue Crane came to be in the Western Cape and how they adapted to this agricultural landscape. Our work in this region is focused on understanding the resilience of this population through a four-year Ph.D. project, looking at the trends in Blue Crane numbers, the threats facing this species and the opportunities for future conservation. Ph.D. candidate and field officer Christie Craig will share some of the early findings from the research so far and some of the exciting plans to come.
This research is funded by the Leiden Conservation Fund and South African power utility Eskom.