National News

UGANDA’S ENDANGERED NATIONAL SYMBOL FACES EXTINCTION

By UG Reports

KAMPALA: Uganda’s national symbol – the crested crane – appears on the country’s flag and the coat of arms.

But these beautiful birds are now considered endangered as their wetland homes are being lost to farming.

There are only around 20,000 left in the world.

As people continue to drain and reclaim swathes of swampland for farming, the cranes have limited nesting and breeding places.

Communities in Kabale, in the south-west, are working to save the crane and the wetlands it inhabits.

Convincing locals to give up potential farming land has not been easy, but members of the community have now come on board as so-called “crane custodians”.

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They keep an eye on the birds in their localities, report any that are injured or killed, as well as pairs that have nested or have chicks.

Jimmy Muheebwa of Nature Uganda says the number of cranes has now stabilised.

But Uganda has already lost over 40% of its wetlands in the last two decades. So in some regions, it might be too late for the cranes.

Source: BBC News

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