For many years, one of the most beautiful bird species at the Indianapolis Zoo has been its African crowned cranes, tall majestic birds easily identified by the pale yellow and spiky tufts of feathers on top of their heads. Once numbering in the thousands, these birds now face a significant and rapid decline in their wild populations. This is according to our good friends at the International Crane Foundation (ICF), who have partnered with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to produce and release a new video titled “Grey Crowned Cranes Need our Help!
Photo by Mark Kaser
We are happy to share the video with you and encourage you to join in the fight to save them. Here’s what the ICF says about this important message:
“The video provides information and education on the endangered Grey Crowned Crane. Once considered among the most secure of all cranes, the Grey Crowned Cranes are rapidly declining across most of their range and immediate action is needed now to save this species from extinction.
The illegal capture of Grey Crowned Cranes is a serious threat and has caused a significant and rapid decline of their population over the past two decades. This four-minute video provides a clear discussion of these critical issues and urges people to share the video and spread the word that Grey Crowned Cranes need our help!
Although habitat loss is a significant threat for these species, trade in live cranes from the wild to captive facilities around the world for display is believed to be the main cause for their dramatic decline. Crowned cranes seem most affected by live trade, in part because they are in high demand (they are unique looking, iconic of Africa, and tolerate being displayed in groups and with other species) and in part because there are fewer effective controls in many of their countries of origin. In addition, many of the players involved in the demand and supply sides of this trade still believe that these species are plentiful. Without attention, this trade could lead to loss of these species from much of Africa.”
The Indianapolis Zoo’s cranes are all captive born and roam freely in the mixed species yard in the Plains Biome
, along with the zebras, kudus and Ruppell's griffon vultures. We hardily support the conservation efforts of the ICF
, which was co-founded by the inaugural winner of the Indianapolis Prize
in 2006, George Archibald. The next conservation hero to be honored with the Indianapolis Prize will be announced in 2014.
Photo by Jackie Curts