Scaling-up mitigation of human-crane conflict in Driefontein Grasslands, Zimbabwe
The globally threatened wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) and grey crowned crane (Balearica regulorum) have been reported to damage maize crops in Driefontein Grasslands resulting in conflict with subsistence farmers. Snaring and poisoning of cranes in crop fields in the past has had an adverse impact on the population of the two crane species. Our purpose is to mitigate human-crane conflict by implementing a management system that reduces crop depredation by cranes. Our goal is to significantly increase the population of cranes in Driefontein Grasslands. We will demonstrate and scale-up the use of environmentally friendly scarecrows as a mitigation measure to deter cranes from entering maize fields. We will also promote the cultivation of small grains that are not vulnerable to damage by cranes and advocate for effective implementation of policies and laws that govern crane conservation. We are targeting local communities and stakeholders involved in monitoring compliance and enforcement of conservation policies. This project will demonstrate that humans can coexist with cranes and contribute to their conservation through the adoption of good management practices in agricultural areas.