In early June as the sun peeped over the horizon about 6:00 a.m. to brighten the distant hills of China, White-naped Cranes lifted from the early morning mists that often cover the great marshes of Russia’s Muraviovka Park. They flew silently into the light to reach a last year wheat field on the elevated terrace near the headquarters of the Park, to feed on leftover grain.
As Kerryn Morrison, ICF’s African Crane Conservation Program Manager, and I drove across the border from Uganda, I was thrilled to experience Rwanda for the first time. Rwanda is the 20th Africa country I have worked in for ICF, and I take joy in learning about the unique cultural, political, and ecological characteristics of each country I visit. Rwanda is no exception.
ICF President Dr. Rich Beilfuss recently returned from a three-week field visit to advance ICF’s Africa Program in three important “crane countries” — Uganda, Rwanda, and Zambia. Following are his field notes from Uganda, detailing the community-based efforts to protect the remaining Grey Crowned Cranes and their habitats in this country.