8 month old Common / Eurasian cranes Grus grus,

UK Crane Population Reaches its Highest Level for Over 400 years

The results of the latest common crane survey reveals a record-breaking 56 pairs of cranes in 2019, bringing the total population to an estimated 200 birds.

Cranes became extinct in the UK around four hundred years ago, however, in 1979, a small number of wild cranes returned to Norfolk. Since then, conservation groups have worked to improved habitats for the species and encourage recovery of populations.

In 2010, the Great Crane Project – a partnership between the RSPB, WWT and the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust, and funded by Viridor Credits Environmental Company – joined the movement. The project creates and improves existing habitat, as well as hand-rearing young birds for release on the Somerset Levels and Moors.

Damon Bridge, Chair of the UK Crane Working Group said:

The increase of cranes over the last few years shows just how resilient nature can be when given the chance. With the support of our wonderful partners we’ve been able to recreate more and more of the cranes’ natural habitat, giving them a place to recuperate after the winter and raise their chicks. They are not yet out of the woods, but their continued population climb year after year is a very positive sign.

Image credit: Nick Upton (rspb-images.com)