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Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association Grey Crowned Cranes

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Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) Grey Crowned Cranes. Organization Strategies
We believe that a wide range of different strategies are needed to ensure that there is an effective impact and we use a holistic approach to combat the illegal trade. With one or more elements of this approach missing, the results would not be effective or sustainable.

Our Project: Saving Endangered Grey Crowned Cranes
The Grey Crowned Crane is the only species of crane in Rwanda and despite being a symbol of wealth and longevity in Rwandan culture, it faces increasing threats due to habitat reduction and a growing illegal trade. There is estimated to be less than 500 Grey Crowned Cranes left in the wild in Rwanda and are currently listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN red list for endangered species (IUCN, 2017). The species is substantially threatened by human factors often driven by conditions of poverty, livelihood disadvantage and lack of conservation awareness as well as people and animals competing for the same habitat. Additionally, Grey Crowned Cranes have been kept in captivity by hotels and wealthy families who are unaware of the environmental consequences of doing so. These captive cranes are usually stressed, malnourished, have their wings broken to prevent them flying, don’t breed and die prematurely. In addition, there is a general lack of awareness about the endangered status of cranes and the law protecting them. Dr. Olivier Nsengimana, Founder & Executive Director. Reintroduction of captive cranes to Akagera National Park

Rolex Awards for Enterprise 2014: Olivier Nsengimana
YOUNG LAUREATE, ENVIRONMENT

National Geographic Buffet Awards 2017:
Rosamira Guillen and Olivier Nsengimana

Whitley Awards 2018 - donated by The Savitri Waney Charitable Trust: Olivier Nsengimana

Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association
B.P.5427
Kigali, Rwanda
Tel: +250 788 387 041
Email: rwandawildlife@gmail.com

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association Grey Crowned Cranes

  1. 1. 1RWANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Grey Crowned Cranes Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) RWCA is a registered non-governmental organization in Rwanda. Founded and run by Rwandans who come from and understand local communities and their challenges. The main objective of the organization is to provide a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to critical conservation issues in order to create sustainable solutions. Vision Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) will be the premier conservation organization working to sustain free-living wild animals in Rwanda and the East African region. Mission “The mission of our organization is to provide sustainable solutions to critical wildlife conservation issues in Rwanda and the East African region using a holistic and multi-disciplinary, One Health Approach”. This is achieved by protecting wildlife through veterinary medicine interventions, protecting natural habitats, engaging and educating local communities while improving livelihoods, raising awareness of conservation issues, building the capacity of young conservationists and disseminating high quality research and evaluation. Values Efficiency, Teamwork, Perseverance, Respect and Scientific Excellence Beliefs “Every species counts” Contact Us Close PrintNextWelcome
  2. 2. 2RWANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Grey Crowned Cranes Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) Organization Strategies We believe that a wide range of different strategies are needed to ensure that there is an effective impact and we use a holistic approach to combat the illegal trade. With one or more elements of this approach missing, the results would not be effective or sustainable. Our Project: Saving Endangered Grey Crowned Cranes The Grey Crowned Crane is the only species of crane in Rwanda and despite being a symbol of wealth and longevity in Rwandan culture, it faces increasing threats due to habitat reduction and a growing illegal trade. There is estimated to be less than 500 Grey Crowned Cranes left in the wild in Rwanda and are currently listed as‘Endangered’on the IUCN red list for endangered species (IUCN, 2017). The species is substantially threatened by human factors often driven by conditions of poverty, livelihood disadvantage and lack of conservation awareness as well as people and animals competing for the same habitat. Additionally, Grey Crowned Cranes have been kept in captivity by hotels and wealthy families who are unaware of the environmental consequences of doing so. These captive cranes are usually stressed, malnourished, have their wings broken to prevent them flying, don’t breed and die prematurely. In addition, there is a general lack of awareness about the endangered status of cranes and the law protecting them. Our current strategies for this project broadly include: • Reducing the demand for the illegal trade of Grey Crowned Cranes by raising awareness of their conservation status and on the laws protecting cranes and other wildlife. • Assessing the current status of captive cranes by identifying all captive cranes in Rwanda and giving those cranes a numbered leg band for easy future identification and to educate the owners. This will allow the future monitoring of the illegal trade of cranes as well as prosecution to be much easier. • Removing all captive cranes from captivity in Rwanda in a staged process of reintroduction to Akagera National Park involving a period of quarantine and rehabilitation. This serves to boost the wild population of cranes in Rwanda. • Reducing the source of the illegal trade (poaching) by working with local communities around key areas where wild cranes are known to live in Rwanda. This has the aim of raising awareness, increasing law enforcement and providing opportunities for alternative sources of income as a deterrent from poaching. RWCA additional projects: • Umusambi Village • Bat Project Previous Contact UsNextWelcome
  3. 3. 3RWANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Grey Crowned Cranes Building a sanctuary for disabled Grey Crowned Cranes In order to achieve our goal of removing all Grey Crowned Cranes from captivity in Rwanda, we need to provide a natural habitat for captive cranes that are disabled and unable to return to Akagera National Park. In 2017, we made the first crucial steps to establishing a sanctuary for Rwanda’s disabled Grey Crowned Cranes. We have been given 19 hectares of land including natural marshland. We have also received funds to start mapping out and restoring the land, planting trees and planting a bamboo fence around the perimeter. We also have plans to build an educational visitors centre. RWCA key achievements • 262 captive cranes have now been registered in Rwanda • 69 captive cranes have been taken to our quarantine facility and given full health checks in 2017 (bringing the overall total to 196) • Post release monitoring of these cranes continues, including daily observations at the rehabilitation facility, regular drives around the park and collecting data on the health and behavior of the reintroduced cranes • We have introduced a combination of colored leg bands to improve our identification of reintroduced cranes • 10 guides at Akagera National Park have attended a training session about the project and over 20 have been briefed on the project and are reporting sightings of cranes in the park • A 3-week capacity building training took place for 15 young Rwandese veterinarians and conservationists in partnership with ICF Rwanda’s First Symposium on Illegal Wildlife Trafficking RWCA organized Rwanda’s First Symposium on Illegal Wildlife Trafficking in collabora- tion with Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Tourism and Conservation Department. 89 participants attended the symposium from a wide range of fields including the Rwanda National Police, Border Control Inspectors, Prosecutors and Judges, District Environmental Officers, members of government institutions, conservation NGOs, National Park wardens and law enforcement personnel. Previous Contact UsNextWelcome
  4. 4. 4RWANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Grey Crowned Cranes Rwanda’s First Crane Census For a long time, it has not been clear how many Grey Crowned Cranes remain in the wild in Rwanda. As the threats have increased, the population could be wiped out in the next few years if it was not for the current ongoing joint conservation efforts to save this species. RWCA conducted a national census using both ground and aerial surveys and was able to sight 487 Grey Crowned Cranes. Other key achievements • 2 youth environmental clubs are meeting regularly and over 135 children are engaged in environmental activities and learning about Grey Crowned Cranes • Land has been acquired as a base for educational activities • An educational arts program has been launched with Conservation Heritage Turambe for 130 primary school children nearby Rugezi marshland Understanding the population trends of Grey Crowned Cranes in Rwanda Previous Contact UsNextWelcome
  5. 5. 5RWANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Grey Crowned Cranes Rwanda’s only species of crane, the Grey Crowned Cranes population has fallen 80% over the past 45 years, causing the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to raise the threat listing for the bird in 2012 to“endangered”. The golden tufted crane adorned with a flame-red spot on its neck, is a symbol of wealth and longevity in Rwanda which makes it desirable as a pet for its elite - which is illegal. Convincing them to give them up is a sensitive issue. THE PLAN: persuade them to take advantage of an amnesty programme and relinquish the cranes to a rehabilitation centre, enter the birds into a database; build media conservation awareness; then release the cranes into the wild. Preserving Rwanda’s Biodiversity Dr. Olivier Nsengimana has a long-term mission – to foster a younger generation of Rwandan conservationists. “Iwanttotrainyoungveterinarianstohelpwiththisprojectand takeownershipofconservationprojects,and,sofar,theresponsehasbeenextremelypositive.” The project’s primary goal is to reintroduce captive cranes to their natural Rwandan habitat. Another major aim is to stop the grey crowned cranes from being poached from the wild. Grey Crowned Cranes in Rwanda Tusk Conservation AwardWhitley Awards Awards Video Links LEARN MORE ONLINE: “SAVING RWANDA’S BIRD OF FORTUNE” Rolex Awards for Enterprise 2014: Olivier Nsengimana YOUNG LAUREATE, ENVIRONMENT PROJECT GOAL: Save endangered grey crowned-cranes in Rwanda National Geographic Buffet Awards 2017: Rosamira Guillen and Olivier Nsengimana Whitley Awards 2018 - donated by The Savitri Waney Charitable Trust: Olivier Nsengimana “As soon as I was out in the field, working with these animals, I thought, wow, this is me, conservation is what I was meant to do with my life.” - Olivier Nsengimana Previous Contact UsNextWelcome
  6. 6. 6RWANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Grey Crowned Cranes Community Conservation Campaigns Two community conservation campaigns took place on busy market days to spread the word about Grey Crowned Cranes and the need to protect them and their habitat. Entertainment via big speakers with music, a stage and dancers quickly attracts attention and large crowds. Key conservation messages are delivered, interspersed with quizzes, competitions and prizes. RWCA continues its media campaigns, with the project being featured on Rwanda Television, community radio shows, online media and newspapers. Planting indigenous roosting trees RWCA has established a nursery of indigenous trees and three tree planting events have taken place near the buffer zone of Rugezi marsh with members of our youth environmental clubs planting more than 450 indigenous trees. These trees are ideal roosting trees for Grey Crowned Cranes. indigenous Trees Reforestation Project: expanding key roosting sites for cranes RWCA indigenous tree nursery Previous Contact UsNextWelcome
  7. 7. 7RWANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Grey Crowned Cranes Reintroduction of captive cranes to Akagera National Park In 2017, 45 captive cranes were rehabilitated and reintroduced to Akagera National Park. This requires a lengthy process of registering captive cranes in hotel gardens and people’s homes throughout the country, confiscating them, taking them to our quarantine facility to undergo health checks, then transferring them to our rehabilitation facility in the national park. Overall, RWCA has now removed 196 Grey Crowned Cranes from captivity. More key achievements • 2 training workshops with local leaders have been conducted to raise awareness and increase law enforcement • 4 poached chicks have been reported by local leaders and successfully confiscated by the RWCA team to be reintroduced back to the wild • 18 members of the marsh ranger co-operative have been involved in the building of a model pig farm and the first piglets have been born. This project will serve as an income generating opportunity for the members Youth education programmes We have distributed over 4500 conservation comic books (designed in partnership with ICF) to 6 primary schools near Rugezi marsh and Akagera National Park. The comic book aims to teach children about Grey Crowned Cranes and the need to protect them and their habitat. INSPIRING A FUTURE GENERATION OF CONSERVATIONISTS Previous Contact UsNextWelcome
  8. 8. RWANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Grey Crowned Cranes 8 Thank you to all our National and International Supporters​​ Our projects could not happen without the support of kind individuals and organizations who believe in what we are doing. RWCA would like to thank you for your generous support and encouragement for the work we are doing. We could not achieve such great results without you! Email: rwandawildlife@gmail.com Contact Us Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association B.P.5427 Kigali, Rwanda Tel: +250 788 387 041 rwandawildlife@gmail.comwww.rwandawildlife.org OUR NATIONAL SUPPORTERS VISIT OUR WEB SITE OUR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORTERS EMAIL US Dr. Olivier Nsengimana Founder Executive Director Previous Contact Us Close PrintWelcome

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