Grey Crowned Cranes nest in diverse wetland ecosystems in western Kenya

One visit to the western region of Kenya is enough to make one realise that wetlands come in all shapes and sizes. Despite escalating threats to the wetlands due to human activities (agricultural encroachment and eucalyptus and sugar cane plantations), the region remains a stronghold for the Grey Crowned Crane. During the first two weeks of October, I had the opportunity to visit some of the known Grey Crowned Crane breeding sites in Bungoma, Nandi and Trans-Nzoia. What particularly struck me was the diversity of wetland ecosystems used by the cranes for breeding. The biophysical characteristics of landscapes that contain these breeding sites vary widely. They could simply be described as: pasturelands associated with riverine wetlands, islands in the middle of small dams, grass-covered fringes of papyrus-dominated floodplains and grassed dam edges bordered by riverine forests.

Breeding site 1 - open field near wetland

Breeding site 3 - riverine swamp

Breeding site 2  - island on dam

Breeding site 4 - dam egde and forest

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