Continuing our selection of crane resources from many available worldwide. All crane species need wetlands to drink, bathe, feed, roost and breed. Here in Part 2, we include cranes on farms, wetlands and conservation. For Ozcranes resources please see the Site Map.
Ozcranes highlights: Brolga conservation», Sarus conservation», Cranes on Farms 1, Cranes on Farms 2, and Burning for Brolgas». Images of Brolgas and Sarus Cranes in wetlands and other habitats across Australia are located throughout the site.
Quotations on cranes, wetlands and people
From J Harris, Cranes, people and nature: preserving the balance, in H Higuchi & J Minton, The Future of Cranes and Wetlands (Wildbird Society of Japan Research Center)
‘Wetlands, with very high biological productivity, have long attracted human settlements, and one cannot remove people from the wetlands. Instead, conservation practices must focus on integrating conservation with wise use of wetland ecosystems.’
From D & C Frith, Cape York Peninsula: A natural history
‘Of all the waterbirds that live on the Peninsula it is the Magpie Geese and the cranes that seem to be most finely attuned to life in the Wet-Dry Tropics.’
Brolga family foraging in shallows, Georgina River, Camooweal NW Queensland (Rob Gray).
- Nature Glenelg Trust projects including case studies for wetlands on private land.
- The 2004 State of Australia's Birds Report (SOAB 2004) sub-titled ‘Water, Wetlands and Birds’ is available to download from BirdLife Australia (scroll down to 2004, Water Wetlands & Birds)
- ‘Renaissance on Lanark’, the story of a Western Victoria grazing property that restored wetlands and brought Brolgas back after 40 years, download from BirdLife Australia (scroll down to Renaissance on Lanark, 1999)
- (BOOK: not online at present). The Future of Cranes and Wetlands. Proceedings of the international symposium held in Tokyo and Sapporo, Japan, June 1993. Wild Bird Society of Japan, eds. J Minton, R Kurosawa, H Higuchi
- Wetlands International has many website resources and for Australia, check out Wetlands International Oceania
- The Australian Wetlands Database and other resources at the federal Environment Department
Cranes and farms
Cranes occupy a wide range of agricultural lands in five continents, and many species have adapted well to new shallow ‘wetlands’ like rice paddies and irrigation overflows. But cranes feeding on newly planted crops can cause conflicts with farmers. For farmer-crane conflict, see Ozcranes Crane Hazards 2» and Cranes on Farms 1».
Brolgas fly up from maize stubble, Atherton Tablelands, far north Queensland (Jan O'Sulllivan)
- Cranes, Agriculture and Climate Change, Proceedings of a 2010 ICF symposium convened by Wetlands International and the IUCN Crane Specialist Group. Download free from the ICF library, pdf 6.7MB
- The Bitterns in Rice project, enhancing agricultural wetlands also for Brolgas
- Fire can be an essential management tool for farmers, graziers and cranes. Download a special report by P Olsen and M Weston on Fire and Birds from BirdLife Australia (scroll down to Fire and Birds, 2005)
Of the world's fifteen (15) crane species, eleven (11) are threatened in at least part of their range. They're found on all continents except South America (unless you include the Cuban subspecies of Sandhill Crane, in Central America) and Antarctica. The most common, and the rarest, are both found in North America. The Sandhill (Grus canadensis), population over 650,000; and the Whooping (Grus americana), less than 400. All the sites linked in Ozcranes Resources 1 have resources on crane conservation, including summaries of Action Plans for threatened species on the ICF and IUCN Red List sites.
The Whooping Crane is still the world's most endangered crane. Patuxent WRC, International Crane Foundation and the Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust have many news items and resources. Teaching captive-bred young Whooping Cranes how to migrate with ultralites is here, and the National Geographic Crane feature (2004) links to live browser cam of breeding and migration. Check out mass migration flocks of Sandhill Cranes at Rowes Sanctuary, Nebraska.