KWS Convenes to Save Grey Crowned Crane from Extinction

Kenya, as a signatory state of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), has been alarmed by the threats of extinction faced by the Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum). Notably, Kenya is endowed with 1,100 bird species, gracing its diverse and breathtaking landscapes, offering a true paradise for avian enthusiasts.

AEWA is an intergovernmental treaty bringing together countries and the wider international conservation community with a dedication to the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Greenland, and the Canadian Archipelago.

National stakeholders, in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), have convened in Naivasha at the Wildlife Research & Training Institute (WRTI) for a National Stakeholders Validation Workshop on The Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum). These discussions in the workshop are critical in defining and refining strategies to ensure the safeguarding of the iconic Grey Crowned Crane and their threatened habitats.

Grey Crowned Crane
Grey Crowned Crane source online

Some bird species that ecologically depend on wetlands for their annual cycle include many species of divers, grebes, pelicans, cormorants, herons, storks, rails, ibises, spoonbills, flamingos, ducks, swans, geese, cranes, waders, gulls, terns, tropic birds, auks, frigate birds, and even the South African penguin.

Mr. Lekishon Kenana, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Deputy Director in charge of Conservation Science, commended the pivotal role played by KWS in leading and coordinating all partners to drive Kenya’s conservation agenda, emphasizing the importance of collective action.

These discussions are instrumental considering the continued power of partnerships for unified efforts to protect Kenya’s rich biodiversity. Kenya Wildlife Service has clearly shown that through strengthened partnerships and holistic approaches, there is a promise of a sustainable future not only for the Grey Crowned Crane but also for other threatened species.

It is important that we foster further collaboration for the development and successful implementation of Conservation and Recovery Action Plans for the Grey Crowned Crane, as well as other threatened wildlife species in the country,” said Mr. Lekishon.

The development of the Single Species Action Plan on the Conservation of the Grey Crowned Crane is aligned with the requirements of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013, and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), to which Kenya is a signatory state.

Grey Crowned Crane
Diverse national stakeholders engaged in the convention at Naivasha

Partnerships for the workshop involve the National Museums of Kenya, NEMA, County Governments hosting populations of Grey Crowned Cranes, International Crane Foundation/Endangered Wildlife Trust/Community Action Network for Conservation Partnership, Nature Kenya, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Wildlife Research & Training Institute, Kenya Airports Authority, East African Wildlife Society, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, Community groups including Friends of Kinangop Plateau, among others, exemplifying this joint commitment.

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