Both subspecies of the black crowned-crane are declining in numbers (7) due to the loss, transformation and degradation of their habitat (6). In recent decades, wetlands and grasslands throughout the crane’s range have been devastated by drought, the development and expansion of intensive agriculture, and by large scale dam, drainage and irrigation projects (2) (6). Drought and population growth has forced people to encroach onto suitable crane habitat, where wetlands are drained to expand agricultural production, and pesticides are increasingly being used which may result in the accumulation of toxins in the cranes, or reduce the amount of prey available for them (6). This has resulted in the total or near extirpation of this species in some countries; a tiny number of black crowned-cranes remain in Nigeria (where it is the national bird), and none have been recorded in Sierra Leone since the 1930s (2) (6). In some areas, the threat of habitat loss is compounded by hunting of this species (2). In certain regions, locals capture black crowned-crane chicks, or take eggs and raise the young in captivity (4), and they are also trapped for the legal international market (1) (6). This is a particularly serious threat in Mali, where today, there are more domesticated black crowned-cranes than there are in the wild (8). In Chad, Nigeria and other countries, this bird is also captured for food (6).