Wattled Crane

ANIMAL:
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus

Type of Animal:
Crane

Habitat:
Wetlands, marshland, floodplains, grasslands

Location(s):
Mainly found in Zambia, Botswana, N. Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, S. Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, & W. Tanzania. Isolated populations in N.E. Congo & Ethiopia.

Appearance:
White breast/neck, black underparts, reddish wattle by face, grey feathers on adults. Tawny body plumage & less prominent wattle on juveniles.

Food/Diet:
Aquatic tubers & rhizomes, insects, snails, amphibians, grain, grass seeds, beetle larvae, small reptiles.

Status in Wild:
Threatened

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & breeding centers.

Lifestyle:
Found in flocks of 2-30 birds for most of year. During breeding/nesting season, they break off into monogamous pairs.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Cock
Female-Hen
Young-Chick
Group-Flock

Weight:
Male-17-20 lbs
Female-14-17 lbs

Gestation:
1 month

Height:
Male-6 ft
Female-5.7 ft

Body Length:
3.9 ft

Life Span: 
20-30 years in wild, up to 80 years in captivity

Tail Length:
1.5 ft

Main predators are lions, wild dogs, leopards, caracals, servals, pythons, crocodiles, & domestic dogs. Mongooses & pigs eat eggs.

Largest crane in Africa and 2nd largest species in world.

Pairs strongly territorial, often attacking & sometimes killing intruders with sharp beaks.

Sexually mature at 3.5 years.

Pairs lay 1-2 eggs. If more than 1 egg hatches, larger chick often kills smaller chick.

Threatened due to water pollution, wetland destruction, habitat loss, poisoning, & harvesting of eggs/chicks/adults for food.

The courtship ritual consists of elaborate dance, involving lots of jumping & vocalizing.

International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wisconsin has successful breeding program with this species.

Territories up to 1 square km.

Chick stays w/ parents for up to 1 year.

Fun Fact(s):
Often mistaken for herons, egrets, or storks.

Wattle increases in size when irritated & decreases when calm.

Pairs known to be very aggressive in defense of territory & chicks, even attacking humans.
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *