|Date||14 Aug 2001|
Although people and wildlife have historically lived in harmony in Zimbabwe's wetlands, modern threats are disrupting this fragile balance. Agricultural expansion, drainage schemes, increasing numbers of livestock, the illegal bird trade and agrochemicals all play a part. These, coupled with Zimbabwe's unstable political climate, land invasions and fast-track policies of land resettlement, combine to pose what is arguably the greatest threat to Zimbabwe's wetlands and grasslands and the future of all who depend on them.
This programme aims to assess the main threats to Wattled Cranes and their critical habitats and to examine the role of the Wattled Crane as a flagship species for community based wetland and grassland management and biodiversity conservation. The team will work in close co-operation with resettled communities, private land owners, local authorities, government departments and NGO's in the management and conservation of the Cranes and their habitats. They also aim to increase public awareness of the plight of cranes and wetlands, and to use the cranes as a flagship species for the protection of wetlands, with a focus on their value to local communities and the rich biodiversity they support.