BLUE CRANES Anthropoides paradiseus
Conservation Status: Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland: Vulnerable. Cites Appendix II; CMS II
Identification: Large birds 1.0 - 1.2 m, adults +/- 5 kg (although they are one of the smaller crane species), plain blue-grey in overall colour with very long slate-grey tertials (resembling long tail streamers). Long black legs and feet. Brown to pink bill.
Distribution: Endemic to Southern Africa - Natural grassland, grassy Karoo, agriculturally transformed Renosterveld
Population: 20,000 to 21,000 in South Africa (Less than 50 elsewhere)
Main threats: Habitat loss, poisonings, powerline and wind turbine collisions.
Conservation: Landowner engagement in conservation, responsible use of agri-chemicals, co-operation with power generation and distribution authorities.