Six adult Blue cranes have been fitted with solar-powered satellite trackers in the Overberg in the past few weeks. The tracking devices will give researchers a better understanding of how Blue cranes use agricultural lands in the Overberg daily – as well as across seasons.
Conservationists and other experts will be able to use the information collected to give better input into wind energy and power line infrastructure developments – before these go ahead. The devices will also provide key information on the impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector in the Overberg, and how these in turn affect birds such as Blue cranes.
The Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Crane Programme, the Wildlife and Energy Programme, the Percy FitzPatrick Institute, the Overberg Crane Group/Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust and Raptor Rescue teamed up to undertake the capture. The research is funded by the Table Mountain Fund, an associated Trust of WWF-South Africa.
The first six cranes were captured with the help of very supportive landowners in the between Bredasdorp and De Hoop, and close to Protem. Over the next two months, five more Blue cranes will be fitted with tracking devices.
According to Tanya Smith, Southern Africa Regional Manager: African Crane Conservation Programme, should people see a tracking device on the back of a Blue crane, they should take note of the date, time and location (including GPS co-ordinates if possible). The information can be mailed to Tanya: email@example.com.