International Crane Foundation

 

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Blue Crane

Anthropoides paradiseus

HEIGHT: 117 cm, 4 ft
WEIGHT: 5.1 kg, 11 lbs
POPULATION: ~ 25,000
TREND: Stable to increasing
STATUS: IUCN: VU; Cites Appendix II; CMS II

FUN FACT

Both the Xhosa and Zulu tribes in Africa revere the Blue Crane. Zulu royalty were the only tribe members traditionally allowed to wear Blue Crane feathers, while only Xhosa warriors were permitted to wear Blue Crane feathers into battle.

IDENTIFICATION

Adults – Body is silvery bluish gray, black wingtips, extra-long tertial feathers that are dark and dangle nearly to the ground, black legs; juveniles – slightly lighter blue grey feathers.

Download FREE Blue Crane images.


RANGE

Endemic (only found in a certain region) to southern Africa, with more than 99% of the population occurring within South Africa. A small, disjunct breeding population exists in northern Namibia, in and around Etosha Pan.

 

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DIET

Seeds of sedges and grasses, waste grains, insects and small vertebrates.


CALL

Listen to Blue Crane calls:

Guard Call | A sharp, single call expressing alarm.

Unison Call | A duet performed by a pair, to strengthen their bond and protect their territory.


THREATS

Changes in agriculture practices, power line collisions, human disturbance, unintentional and intentional poisoning, land conversion, live capture and egg collection for commercial trade.


OUR PLAN

Conserving Blue Cranes on agricultural landscapes in South Africa. We are:

  • Developing and implementing a conservation plan for Blue Cranes, based on a clear understanding of how cranes use the agricultural systems in the Western Cape and the probable impacts of climate change on land use and agricultural practices.
  • Seeking to minimize the impact of mining and other land development on critical Blue Crane breeding and roosting sites.
  • Implementing a media and marketing campaign to honor Blue Cranes as the national bird in South Africa, a designation that will drive public engagement in their protection.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Fight the African Crane Trade.

Become a member of the International Crane Foundation.


Learn more about Blue Cranes:

Johnsgard PA. 1983. Cranes of the world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Meine CD, Archibald GW. 1996. The cranes: status survey and conservation action plan. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.