Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Missing Crane on the Somerset Levels

One of the things I hope to do over the coming weeks is report back on some of the things I've done both for work and pleasure. One of the things I went to was the Great Crane reintroduction project down on the Somerset Levels. Well today (press release below) some sad news that one of the birds went missing a few days ago. Lets hope he returns and hasn't been taken by collectors, which was one of the worries.

Concern over missing crane

Conservationists in Somerset are growing increasingly concerned about the whereabouts of a Eurasian crane recently re-introduced to the county as part of the unique Great Crane Project and are appealing for the public to look out for the missing bird.

The tall waterbird, carrying distinctive yellow-blue-red identification rings, was last seen on Friday evening (5 November).

The Great Crane Project is a partnership between the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, RSPB and Pensthorpe Conservation Trust, with major funding from Viridor Credits Environmental Company. The project aims to restore healthy populations of wild cranes throughout the UK, so that people can once again experience these beautiful birds.

Damon Bridge, Great Crane Project Manager said; “The bird was last seen during routine monitoring of the birds on Friday, but has not been seen with the regular groups since then.”

Following their release into the wild in September the birds are starting to spread their wings and explore the Somerset Levels and Moors. They are closely monitored and a number, including the missing bird, have been fitted with radio trackers.

Damon Bridge added: “Interestingly we have not been able to pick the bird up via its radio tracker. This means it may simply have flown out of range, and there are plenty of attractive places for cranes further afield. It’s odd that it’s not returning to the group in the evening as normal – but then this individual has always been a bit of a loner.”

To help in their search the Great Crane Project is appealing for the public to call in sightings.
Damon bridge said: “We’d really love to hear from anyone who’s seen this bird, she has a unique combination of yellow blue and red rings on her right leg. These should be reasonably visible from a distance.

“Naturally everyone on the Great Crane project team is hoping the bird is found safe and well. Sadly though, if she is not found soon we may be left fearing for the worse.”

Members of the public seeing the missing crane should call 01458 254414. More information on the missing bird can be found here http://www.thegreatcraneproject.org.uk/cranes/meet-the-cranes/howard


  1. By sheer coincidence I had been reading an article in last month's BBC Wildlife magazine on the Somerset Levels by Simon King which mentioned the Crane Re-introduction Project, just before seeing your blog posting. Its worrying news about the missing crane - I do hope it turns up safe and well. Please let us know if you hear anything about its whereabouts.

  2. I visited Pensthorpe last month and saw a pair of Cranes for the first time, I was told by the warden that one was a ringed bird from Pensthorpe, the other was wild and had flown in on it's own...so I took that as a tick! Thay are fantastic birds. Has the missing Crane been found yet?