Head and body length: approx. 1 m, wingspan: 1.5 - 1.7 m
Approx. 3.5 kg
Estimated at 50,000 - 64,000
A mix of wetlands and grasslands
Living history. The grey crowned crane is one of the most ancient living members of the crane family, with primitive species dating back in fossil records to the Eocene period. It is also one of the only cranes able to perch in tress, thanks to its unusually well—developed hind toes. Monogamous couples work together to build circular platform nests and take turns incubating their eggs for as long as 31 days. But the future of these venerable birds is in doubt as they face habitat loss—primarily due to conversion for agriculture, heavy use of pesticides and changes in water management—and live-trapping for trade.