The stabilization of the Wattled Crane population over the past decade may be attributed largely to farmers, only landowners can secure the habitat necessary for the survival of our cranes.
The highest priority of the KZN Crane Foundation is, therefore, to ensure that farmers understand their role as stewards, and are equipped, supported, and recognized in this endeavour.
Landowners have become increasingly aware of the decimation of our crane populations and the imperative to preserve wetlands. They now take pride in their role as guardians of these precious resources.
This change in attitudes was triggered by the ‘Crane Custodian’ programme and the ongoing work of our partners: EWT and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
Our task is to:
- Re-invigorate the Crane Custodian programme with the EWT and help maintain awareness of the crucial role that farmers play as stewards.
- Provide farmers with information about cranes and their habitat.
- Share successes achieved by farmers, using habitat-friendly practices.
- Recognize the work of participating farmers and encourage others to emulate them.
- Work with organized agriculture, other conservation bodies (globally) and the agri-chemical industry to find ways to ameliorate crop damage by cranes.
- Use feedback from farmers to better understand flock movements and crane behaviour.
- Endeavour to develop a more crane-friendly environment, by association with Farmers Unions, Conservancies, the forestry industry and environmental agencies such as EWT, PAAZA and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.