The dramatic decline in the populations of Blue and Wattled Cranes in KZN during the 1970’s and 1980’s, attracted the concern of the then leading conservation bodies, (the predecessors of the organisations known today as Birdlife SA, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, and WESSA). In 1987, a meeting of these organizations was held under the auspices of the Natal Parks Board (now Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife) to map a way forward and a steering committee was appointed. Research, field-surveys, and consultation with the International Crane Foundation (ICF) followed. It was recognised by the steering committee, that whilst each of these different organisations had wide ranging areas of interest and expertize, a more narrowly focused structure was needed to address the crisis facing South Africa’s cranes and and in December 1989, the South African Crane Foundation (later re-named the KZN Crane Foundation) was formed.
The Founding Partnership
Our Working Partners
From the outset, it was recognized that the challenge of saving cranes was complex, involving diverse stakeholders and vested interests and that the store of local expert knowledge and access to funding was limited. With limited resources, the key to success of the KZN Crane Foundation would have to lie in its role as a facilitator, it would need to pull together stakeholders and draw on local and global knowledge and resources if it was to succeed.
Our most ambitious project to date, was the Wattled Crane Recovery Programme (WCRP), a collaboration between, EWT, Ezemvelo, the Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA), the Johannesburg Zoo, and the KZN Crane Foundation. Much of the funding for this project was provided by our primary sponsor N3TC. (To learn more about the programme click here WCRP).
The Wattled Crane Conservation Research Programme aims to improve our understanding of crane biology and habits, making use of electronic trackers to follow the movement patterns of sub-adult Wattled Cranes. The study is being undertaken by Lara Jordan as part of her PhD programme through the University of KwaZulu Natal and is supported by EWT and Ezemvelo with the financial backing of the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust.