The Driefontein Grasslands IBA supports three globally threatened species namely Wattled Crane, Grey Crowned Crane and Secretarybird. The IBA is located outside the protected area system of the country and more than 80% of the area is communally managed. Over the years, BirdLife Zimbabwe has engaged local communities and authorities in crane conservation. Four Local Conservation Groups (Site Support Groups) were established in the Driefontein Grasslands to promote active community participation in crane and biodiversity conservation in this IBA. A lot of policy and advocacy work is being conducted in this IBA to influence recognition of the importance of wetland ecosystems and value of biodiversity in the area. Recently a collection of wetlands in the Driefontein Grasslands were declared a Ramsar site in 2012 as a result of our policy and advocacy work. However, more work needs to be done including researchers to fulfil some existing information gaps. Currently a research study to test environmentally friendly methods (human model scarecrows) on preventing cranes from damaging crops in vulnerable crop fields is being conducted. In Driefontein Grasslands cranes, although important bird species, were reported to damage crops and this has resulted in conflicts with humans, hence the research study is seeking a solution to this problem. The study is being carried out by a team of three and is funded by the Conservation Leadership Programme. More partners are welcome to support conservation work in this important IBA.
For more information contact Togarasei Fakarayi : firstname.lastname@example.org