Highly revered, highly endangered

A grey crowned crane forages for food on the plains. These elegant birds roam the savannah, nest in wetlands, and roost in trees. With white cheeks, yellow crowns tipped with black, and pale blue-grey eyes, these stunning birds have gained recognition in the political and elite rounds: they are the national bird of Uganda and are trophy pets for the Rwandan elite. Elsewhere, they roam wild, but significant habitat loss has seen populations plummet by 85% in the last 4 decades, to now a mere 30,000. While conservation efforts are underway to protect this highly revered bird, hopefully, things will change fast enough before this endangered species is wiped off the earth forever.

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