Identifying Environmental Factors Affecting the Habitat of the Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum) in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

16 Apr 2021 Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda, Africa Biodiversity | Birds | Habitats

Claver Ntoyinkima

Occurring in eastern and southern Africa, B. regulorum is classified by IUCN as Endangered on Red list of threatened species. Its population declines because of habitat loss and degradation, specifically the conversion of wetland breeding areas.

The study will be carried out in and around Nyungwe National Park (NNP), specifically in Nyamasheke District’s wetlands adjacent to NNP; and it is designed to be carried out in a period of twelve months round.


Main aims

The finding of this study will inform the park management, local authorities, and Rwanda Environmental Authority about issues facing this species and make decisions on their management actions.

• The results from this study will remove uncertain presence or absence and dispersion of B. regulorum around Nyungwe National Park.

• The study will advise and recommend wetland conservation measures that favor B. regulorum habitat in order to avoid potential local extinction of this Endangered species.

• Local communities will be aware of activities that threaten B. regulorum and adopt alternative use of wetlands to minimize or stop further habitat degradation. The capacity of local community to address conflict issues will be enhanced and mechanism to reduce B. regulorum -human conflicts suggested.

• The research will add on to park managers’ information required to update general management plan and prioritize or mainstream revenue sharing funding into activities that favour the conservation of endangered species in and outside Nyungwe National Park.

All activities we proposed to undertake in this project are lined with conservation actions implemented elsewhere and have successful at improving conservation of the B. regulorum at certain degree. Although this project does not intend to implement such interventions, it will provide information necessary to different organizations and decision makers who will find this information useful.

Rwanda Social Security Funds implements the law on compensation of properties damaged by wild animals. Such data will be of great importance for them to take decision and response to the compensation claim from communities, and subsequently, community behavior and attitude change toward the better conservation of this species.