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The African Crane Conservation Programme (ACCP), a partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the International Crane Foundation, completed an aerial survey of the Western Cape and Karoo with the assistance from the Bateleurs and financial support from Eskom. The aim of the survey was to help us understand where the majority of Blue Cranes are located in these areas as well as the density of the populations. The ACCP is grateful for the Bateleurs and Eskom for making this aerial survey possible and a success.


The aerial survey was completed over four days in the Western Cape and four days in the Karoo.


The Western Cape region included the Overberg region (in areas such as the Swellendam district) and the Swartland region (such as the Malmesbury district), while the Karoo included parts of the Northern Cape (such as the Hanover district) and the Eastern Cape (such as the Graaff-Reinet district).


The team covered a large area where Blue Cranes are found and although it was not possible to count every single Blue Crane in South Africa, the data from this survey can help the ACCP prioritise areas for the benefit of Blue Crane conservation.

The team that helped with the aerial surveys in the Western Cape – from left to right: Mark Rule (pilot), Bradley Gibbons, Christie Craig and Pieter Botha from the ACCP (African Crane Conservation Programme)
Samson Phakathi, who joined the team for the Karoo survey
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