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From the Field Series Webinar – The Rehabilitation of a Distressed Species – Grey Crowned Cranes in Rwanda
April 29 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PMFree
The endangered Grey Crowned Crane is the only species of crane found in Rwanda. The cranes are threatened by human factors, including habitat loss and poaching of adults, chicks and eggs. These threats are often driven by conditions of poverty, livelihood disadvantage and lack of conservation awareness, as well as people and animals competing for the same habitat. Grey Crowned Cranes were also kept in captivity by hotels and wealthy families who were unaware of the environmental and negative animal welfare consequences of doing so. Since 2014, the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) has undertaken public awareness campaigns, helped officially register 319 cranes held in captivity, removed 242 from captivity, and rehabilitated 166 healthy cranes to supplement a remnant population in eastern Rwanda, all to decrease illegal trade of cranes.
The partnership between RWCA and the International Crane Foundation’s Conservation Medicine Department has been focused on providing veterinary service and training, improving bird welfare, and supporting the scientific assessments of this work where possible. Since 2015 we have conducted two workshops in avian conservation medicine for Rwandan veterinarians to expand the pool of professionals who can treat cranes and other distressed wildlife with confidence. We helped RWCA expand its post-release field monitoring to provide a practical method for long-term follow-up of rehabilitated cranes. We also collaborated on two crane health research projects. We are on track to make a positive difference in the conservation impact of the repatriation effort and sustainability of Grey Crowned Cranes in Rwanda.