As a measure to protect the Cuban crane, considered one of the oldest birds in the American continent, Cuba is celebrating in sixth annual “Festival of the Cuban Crane”, which will extend until February 20. The Festival includes a bird count and environmental education activities in communities and schools near the protected area of El Venero, where the second largest population of the Cuban crane is located, as Prensa Latina reports.
Israel Ruiz, a specialist from the Conservation of Flora and Fauna agency in the zone, told Prensa Latina that drawing contests and science focused activities for children and young people have been organized to encourage interest in the preservation of nature.
Ruiz pointed out that the objective is to foster interest in the care and preservation of the endemic species, which is in danger of extinction, in a new generation. The counts will take place simultaneously throughout the island, but especially in the bird’s habitats in the northeast of Ciego de Avila, Ruiz said.
He explained that one of the aims is to ascertain the size of the colonies and verify if there has been an increase in the populations in relation to previous investigations.
The 2011 verified the presence of between 180 to 187 units of the gregarious birds living in small communities. On that occasion, Ruiz said, the greatest population of cranes in the region was in El Venero, an important protected area.
The Cuban crane, well-known scientifically as Canadian Grus, is the largest wild bird in the island. Because of the peculiarities of their reproduction habits and indiscriminate hunting, the species is now threatened, thus the importance of protecting their surroundings and stimulating the growth of its reduced colonies.
In Cuba, the birds can also be found in the provinces of Sancti Spíritus, Camagüey and Pinar del Río. Their largest concentrations are in the Isle of Youth.
For the original report go to http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=478816&Itemid=1