Great news from Zambia! We just completed 29 hours of intensive aerial surveys over the Kafue Flats, and our preliminary estimate of the number of Wattled Cranes is more than 2,300 – the largest population of Wattled Cranes in the world and the highest count anywhere since the 1980s!
This summer, ICF received an in-kind donation from the ESRI Conservation Program of over $9,500 that allows us to maintain our GIS (Geographic Information System) software and provides technical support when we need it most.
Wow, what a time we had! From Heather Henson’s thrilling Celebration of Flight, to Dr. Jane Goodall’s inspiring words for the conservation leaders of tomorrow, our 40th Anniversary Gala stirred the heart. Whether you joined us in Milwaukee, or in spirit, each of you — our sponsors, members, supporters, and partners — made possible the wonderful achievements we honored.
The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and the International Crane Foundation (ICF), who have been cross-continental partners since 1994, both celebrated 40 years of pioneering conservation action in 2013. The EWT’s African Crane Conservation Programme (EWT-ACCP) and the ICF formalized their working arrangement in 2006, and since then the partnership has gone on to deliver real and positive impacts on the status of cranes and communities across the African continent.
Together with ICF’s excellent colleague, Griffin Shanungu of the Zambia Wildlife Authroity, I recently had the privilege of spending four days in Lochinvar National Park (LNP) in central Zambia, a park that includes about 8 percent of the acreage of the vast Kafue Flats – a floodplain of the Kafue River and a major habitat for Wattled Cranes.
An in-depth study warns that new and proposed dams on Southern Africa’s largest river are ill-prepared to withstand the shocks of a changing climate. The result could be uneconomic dams that under-perform in the face of more extreme drought, and more dangerous dams that have not been designed to handle increasingly damaging floods.
Zambia is the third leg of my travels in Africa and a perfect final destination. Zambia is truly a wetland paradise, with eight “Wetlands of International Importance” under the Ramsar Convention covering a surface area of nearly 40,000 square kilometers. These include some of the most important wetlands in Africa for cranes.
The International Crane Foundation (ICF), together with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Museum of Natural History and other key partners in Mozambique, congratulate the Government of Mozambique for their wise decision to not allow the dredging of the lower Zambezi River and Delta for coal barging.
ICF’s President and CEO, Dr. Richard Beilfuss, was deeply involved in preparing the Environmental Impact Assessment and subsequent communications with the Mozambique Ministry of Environment concerning the need for a holistic, ecosystems approach to Zambezi River basin development.