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Expert Warns Climate Change In South Africa May Be Detrimental To Countrys National Bird



Climate change may jeopardize the breeding habits of South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane, as the weather is expected to become increasingly hot and dry in its natural habitat in Western Cape province, Christie Craig, a crane conservationist at non-profit Endangered Wildlife Trust, told Sputnik on Monday

JOHANNESBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 27th September, 2021) Climate change may jeopardize the breeding habits of South Africa‘s national bird, the Blue Crane, as the weather is expected to become increasingly hot and dry in its natural habitat in Western Cape province, Christie Craig, a crane conservationist at non-profit Endangered Wildlife Trust, told Sputnik on Monday.

“We are unsure how this may play out – and are busy with research to clarify this. We suspect hotter and drier conditions could make it harder for cranes to breed successfully, given that they nest directly on the ground, and can become heat stressed when incubating,” Craig said.

Commenting on measures that have been put in place to guard the Blue Crane against climate change, the conservationist said they were still trying to figure out how climate change may affect the cranes.

“Land owners with breeding cranes can however help by ensuring that there is water available � by keeping dams, even if they no longer have livestock.

Water troughs are also used by cranes, but chicks can drown in them. This can be prevented by placing a rock in the trough so that chicks can get out again,” Craig added.

The expert also noted that the Blue Crane is vulnerable to existing threats, such as poisoning, grassland degradation, and powerline collisions, which have caused population declines.

“In addition, in some cases, cranes can become a nuisance to farmers, by damaging crops, like lupins, or by flocking in large numbers around feed troughs. Most farmers are not bothered by cranes; occasionally they do become a nuisance,” Craig said.

The Blue Crane, also known as the Stanley Crane and the Paradise Crane, is a bird mainly inhabiting South Africa, except for a small population in Namibia. According to the global Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are currently around 17,000 of the birds in the world.



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