national bird, the Blue Crane, and other members of the crane family – Wattled
Cranes, Grey and Black Crowned Cranes – are in danger of disappearing from
South Africa’s landscape.
to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) , blue cranes have a restricted range
and are almost entirely endemic to the Western Cape and the Karoo, areas
potentially very vulnerable to climate change.
Africa’s electricity is still primarily coal-generated, and growing energy
demands have seen an increase in coal mining operations across the country,
especially in grassland areas. Open cast coal mines destroy grassland and
wetland and pose a major threat to cranes who depend on these habitats.
Proposed natural gas mining (“fracking”) as an alternative energy source is
also a threat to the Karoo environment, and its crane population.Cranes are the family of birds most affected by power line collisions in South Africa: this is the primary threat to Blue Cranes and also a serious threat to Grey Crowned and Wattled Cranes. Research aims to understand how and why collisions occur, in order to develop mitigation measures. There is also concern that wind turbines may pose a threat to cranes.
Woolworth’s latest in its series of reusable shopping bags features these iconic birds, and R10 from each R29.95 bag purchased goes to the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) work with the African Crane Conservation Program. Previous Woolworths bags have championed other environmental causes, including rhino and vulture conservation.
also support the EWT by shopping at their online store
-Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor
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