The wattled crane (Grus carunculata) is a large bird found in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. It is sometimes placed in the monotypic genus Bugeranus.
Birds, also known as Aves or avian dinosaurs, are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich. They rank as the world's most numerically-successful class of tetrapods, with approximately ten thousand living species, more than half of these being passerines, sometimes known as perching birds. Birds have which are more or less developed depending on the species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which evolved from forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in flightless birds, including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species of birds. The digestive and respiratory systems of birds are also uniquely adapted for flight. Some bird species of aquatic environments, particularly seabirds and some waterbirds, have further evolved for swimming.
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
In biology, a monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group (taxon) that contains only one immediately subordinate taxon.
The first formal description of the wattled crane was by the German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1789 under the binomial name Ardea carunculata.Gmelin based his account on the "wattled heron" that had been described and illustrated by the English ornithologist John Latham in 1785. The specific epithet is from the Latin caruncula meaning "a small piece of flesh".
A species description is a formal description of a newly discovered species, usually in the form of a scientific paper. Its purpose is to give a clear description of a new species of organism and explain how it differs from species which have been described previously or are related. The species description often contains photographs or other illustrations of the type material and states in which museums it has been deposited. The publication in which the species is described gives the new species a formal scientific name. Some 1.9 million species have been identified and described, out of some 8.7 million that may actually exist. Millions more have become extinct.
Johann Friedrich Gmelin was a German naturalist, botanist, entomologist, herpetologist, and malacologist.
John Latham was an English physician, naturalist and author. His main works were A General Synopsis of Birds (1781–1801) and General History of Birds (1821–1828). He was able to examine specimens of Australian birds which reached England in the last twenty years of the 18th century, and was responsible for naming many of them. These included the emu, sulphur-crested cockatoo, wedge-tailed eagle, superb lyrebird and Australian magpie. He was also the first to describe the hyacinth macaw. Latham has been called the "grandfather" of Australian ornithology.
The wattled crane was formerly placed in its own genus Bugeranus. A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2010 found that the genus Grus within the crane family was not monophyletic and that the wattled crane was a sister species to a clade containing the blue crane and the demoiselle crane.In the resulting reorganization of the genera, the wattled crane was moved to the genus Grus. Some taxonomists retain the wattled crane within Bugeranus. The wattled crane is monotypic: there are no recognised subspecies.
Grus is a genus of large birds in the crane family.
The blue crane, also known as the Stanley crane and the paradise crane, is the national bird of South Africa. The species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
The demoiselle crane is a species of crane found in central Eurasia, ranging from the Black Sea to Mongolia and North Eastern China. There is also a small breeding population in Turkey. These cranes are migratory birds. Birds from western Eurasia will spend the winter in Africa whilst the birds from Asia, Mongolia and China will spend the winter in the Indian subcontinent. The bird is symbolically significant in the Culture of India and Pakistan, where it is known as Koonj.
At a height known to range from 150 to 175 cm (4 ft 11 in to 5 ft 9 in), it is the largest crane in Africa and is the second tallest species of crane in the world, after the sarus crane. It is also the tallest flying bird native to Africa second only among all birds to the two species of ostrich. The wattled crane is taller and, despite the appearance of gracility imparted by its sharp but slim beak and slender neck and legs, is the heaviest on average of several very large, long-legged waders in Africa (i.e. the 2 largest African storks, shoebill, greater flamingo, goliath heron). It is also roughly the fourth heaviest African flying bird after the great white pelican, the much more sexually dimorphic kori bustard and cape vulture. The wingspan is 230–260 cm (7 ft 7 in–8 ft 6 in), the length is typically 110 to 140 cm (3 ft 7 in to 4 ft 7 in) and weight is 6.4–8.28 kg (14.1–18.3 lb) in females and 7.5–9 kg (17–20 lb) in males. Among standard measurements, the wing chord length is 61.3–71.7 cm (24.1–28.2 in), the exposed culmen is 12.4–18.5 cm (4.9–7.3 in) and the tarsus is 23.2–34.2 cm (9.1–13.5 in). Going on standard measurements, it is the second largest proportioned crane after the sarus species, outsizing in these respects even the ostentatiously heavier red-crowned crane. Three adult wattled cranes averaged 8.15 kg (18.0 lb). The back and wings are ashy gray. The feathered portion of the head is dark slate gray above the eyes and on the crown, but is otherwise white, including the wattles, which are almost fully feathered and hang down from under the upper throat. The breast, primaries, secondaries, and tail coverts are black. The secondaries are long and nearly reach the ground. The upper breast and neck are white all the way to the face. The skin in front of the eye extending to the base of the beak and tip of the wattles is red and bare of feathers and covered by small round wart-like bumps. Wattled cranes have long bills and black legs and toes. Males and females are virtually indistinguishable, although males tend to be slightly larger. Juveniles have tawny body plumage, lack the bare skin on the face, and have less prominent wattles. The generation length (in years) is 13.
The sarus crane is a large nonmigratory crane found in parts of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Australia. The tallest of the flying birds, standing at a height up to 1.8 m, they are a conspicuous species of open wetlands in south Asia, seasonally flooded Dipterocarp forests in Southeast Asia, and Eucalyptus-dominated woodlands and grasslands in Australia.
The ostriches are a family, Struthionidae, of flightless birds. The two extant species of ostrich are the common ostrich and Somali ostrich, both in the genus Struthio, which also contains several species known from Holocene fossils such as the Asian ostrich. The common ostrich is the more widespread of the two living species, and is the largest living bird species. Other ostriches are also among the largest bird species ever.
Gracility is slenderness, the condition of being gracile, which means slender.
The wattled crane occurs in eleven sub-Saharan countries in Africa, including an isolated population in the highlands of Ethiopia. More than half of the world's wattled cranes occur in Zambia, but the single largest concentration occurs in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Wattled cranes are thought to have historically ranged over a much larger area including coastal West Africa.The range has certainly retracted considerably in historical times.
Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country in the northeastern part of Africa, known as the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, the de facto state of Somaliland and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west and Sudan to the northwest. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent with a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the Nubian and Somali tectonic plates.
Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in south-central Africa. Its neighbors are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest, the core economic hubs of the country.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a swampy inland delta formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari. All the water reaching the delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired and does not flow into any sea or ocean. Each year, about 11 cubic kilometres (2.6 cu mi) of water spread over the 6,000–15,000 km2 (2,300–5,800 sq mi) area. Some flood waters drain into Lake Ngami. The area was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that had mostly dried up by the early Holocene.
The wattled crane has been spotted in Uganda for the first time in 2011, seen in the Kibimba Rice region in the eastern side of the country. This sighting brings the total number of bird species in Uganda to 1040.
In April 2018, a new population of Wattled Cranes was discovered in Angola.
Wattled cranes inhabit fairly inaccessible wetlands under most conditions. It requires shallow marsh-like habitats with a good deal of sedge-based vegetation. All cranes are omnivorous. The principal food of the wattled crane is mainly aquatic eating the tubers and rhizomes of submerged sedges and water lilies. It is one of the more herbivorous of extant cranes. The other primary portion of the diet consists of aquatic insects. They will supplement the diet with snails, amphibians and snakes when the opportunity arises. Roughly 90% of foraging done by this species occurs in shallow waters. They typically forage by digging vigorously with their bill into the muddy soil. On occasion, it will eat grain and grass seed as well, but does so much less often than the other three African crane species.
There does seem to be some seasonal movements in this crane species, but they are not well-known. Movements seem to be dictacted by local water conditions rather than by seasonal temperature variations. During local floods, the number of wattled cranes can increase from almost none to as much as 3,000 individuals. These movements, in pursuit of ideal feeding conditions, seem more opportunistic movement rather than a fixed migration pattern. On the other hand, there has been observed a migration movement from the high to the low plateaus in Mozambique for the species.
Somewhat gregarious outsize of the breeding season, flocks of wattled cranes can often include 10 or more birds, occasionally as many as 89 individuals. The crowned cranes occasionally interact with this species but, given those species largely terrestrial foraging patterns, this is uncommon. Two species are known to associate closely with wattled cranes due to shared habitat and dietary preferences: the antelope known as the lechwe and the spur-winged goose, the latter nonetheless usually being found in slightly deeper waters. There is no data on significant predation on the wattled crane, as its size often insures it from being killed. Jackals may be occasional predators of chicks.
Wattled cranes commence their breeding season around April. Most nest are sloppily crushed impressions of grass along the border of a marsh. They may use an old spur-winged goose nest or make their own. Eggs are laid approximately 3 weeks after the nests are built. The average clutch size of the species is reportedly the smallest of any of the world's cranes, with an average of 1.6 eggs. Even if there are two eggs, usually only one chick successfully survives to hatch or fledge. The incubation period, roughly 33 to 36 days, is on average the longest of any crane and both parents participate. The chicks are immediately fed by both parents, which take shifts. After around 80 days, the chick(s) start to forage with their parents. At the first sign of any danger, the parents force their young into tall grasses to hide. The fledging period occurs at 100–150 days, the longest it takes any crane to fledge. The young remain with their parents for up to a year (when the next breeding period starts) and may gather in flocks with unrelated juveniles.
Destruction, alteration, and degradation of wetland habitats constitute the most significant threats to the wattled crane, perhaps one of the most habitat sensitive of all cranes. Hydroelectric power projects and other water development have caused fundamental changes in the species expansive floodplain habitats, and their most important food source Eleocharis spp. Human and livestock disturbance, powerline collisions, mass aerial spraying of tsetse flies, and illegal collection of eggs, chicks and adults for food are also significant threats to wattled cranes throughout their range.
The wattled crane is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.It is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.
The brolga, formerly known as the native companion, is a bird in the crane family. It has also been given the name Australian crane, a term coined in 1865 by well-known ornithological artist John Gould in his Birds of Australia.
Cranes are a family, the Gruidae, of large, long-legged, and long-necked birds in the group Gruiformes. The 15 species of cranes are placed in four genera. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Cranes live on all continents except Antarctica and South America.
The common crane, also known as the Eurasian crane, is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes.
The black crowned crane is a bird in the crane family Gruidae.
The shoebill also known as whalehead, whale-headed stork, or shoe-billed stork, is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its enormous shoe-shaped bill. It has a somewhat stork-like overall form and has previously been classified with the storks in the order Ciconiiformes based on this morphology. However, genetic evidence places it with the Pelecaniformes. The adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia.
The purple sandpiper is a small shorebird. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific maritima is from Latin and means "of the sea", from mare, "sea".
The great white pelican also known as the eastern white pelican, rosy pelican or white pelican is a bird in the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and Africa, in swamps and shallow lakes.
The sandhill crane is a species of large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird refers to habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills on the American Plains. This is the most important stopover area for the nominotypical subspecies, the lesser sandhill crane, with up to 450,000 of these birds migrating through annually.
The whooping crane, the tallest North American bird, is an endangered crane species named for its whooping sound. Along with the sandhill crane, it is one of only two crane species found in North America. The whooping crane's lifespan is estimated to be 22 to 24 years in the wild. After being pushed to the brink of extinction by unregulated hunting and loss of habitat to just 21 wild and two captive whooping cranes by 1941, conservation efforts have led to a limited recovery. The total number of cranes in the surviving migratory population, plus three reintroduced flocks and in captivity, now exceeds 800 birds.
The red-crowned crane, also called the Manchurian crane or Japanese crane, is a large East Asian crane among the rarest cranes in the world. In some parts of its range, it is known as a symbol of luck, longevity, and fidelity.
The Siberian crane, also known as the Siberian white crane or the snow crane, is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes. They are distinctive among the cranes, adults are nearly all snowy white, except for their black primary feathers that are visible in flight and with two breeding populations in the Arctic tundra of western and eastern Russia. The eastern populations migrate during winter to China while the western population winters in Iran and formerly, in India and Nepal. Among the cranes, they make the longest distance migrations. Their populations, particularly those in the western range, have declined drastically in the 20th century due to hunting along their migration routes and habitat degradation. The world population was estimated in 2010 at about 3,200 birds, mostly belonging to the eastern population with about 95% of them wintering in the Poyang Lake basin in China, a habitat that may be altered by the Three Gorges Dam. In western Siberia there are only around ten of these cranes in the wild.
The fulvous whistling duck or fulvous tree duck is a species of whistling duck that breeds across the world's tropical regions in much of Mexico and South America, the West Indies, the Southern United States, sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent. It has plumage that is mainly reddish brown, long legs and a long grey bill, and shows a distinctive white band across its black tail in flight. Like other members of its ancient lineage, it has a whistling call which is given in flight or on the ground. Its preferred habitat consists of wetlands with plentiful vegetation, including shallow lakes and paddy fields. The nest, built from plant material and unlined, is placed among dense vegetation or in a tree hole. The typical clutch is around ten whitish eggs. The breeding adults, which pair for life, take turns to incubate, and the eggs hatch in 24–29 days. The downy grey ducklings leave the nest within a day or so of hatching, but the parents continue to protect them until they fledge around nine weeks later.
The southern cassowary, also known as double-wattled cassowary, Australian cassowary or two-wattled cassowary, is a large flightless black bird. It is one of the three living species of cassowary, alongside the dwarf cassowary and the northern cassowary. It is a ratite and therefore related to the emu, ostriches, rheas and kiwis.
The white-naped crane is a bird of the crane family. It is a large bird, 112–125 cm (44–49 in) long, approximately 130 cm (4.3 ft) tall and weighing about 5.6 kg (12 lb) with pinkish legs, grey and white striped neck, and a red face patch.
The black-necked crane is a medium-sized crane in Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and remote parts of India and Bhutan. It is 139 cm (55 in) long with a 235 cm (7.8 ft) wingspan, and it weighs 5.5 kg (12 lbs). It is whitish-gray, with a black head, red crown patch, black upper neck and legs, and white patch to the rear of the eye. It has black primaries and secondaries. Both sexes are similar. Some populations are known to make seasonal movements. It is revered in Buddhist traditions and culturally protected across much of its range. A festival in Bhutan celebrates the bird while the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir considers it as the state bird.
A wattle is a fleshy caruncle hanging from various parts of the head or neck in several groups of birds and mammals. A caruncle is defined as 'A small, fleshy excrescence that is a normal part of an animal's anatomy'. Within this definition, caruncles in birds include those found on the face, wattles, dewlaps, snoods and earlobes. Wattles are generally paired structures but may occur as a single structure when it is sometimes known as a dewlap. Wattles are frequently organs of sexual dimorphism. In some birds, caruncles are erectile tissue and may or may not have a feather covering.
The Juan Fernández petrel is a species of seabird in the family Procellariidae. It nests on a single island off the coast of Chile, in the Juan Fernández Archipelago. It was previously classified as a subspecies of the white-necked petrel, which is found in tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.