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Crested Cranes On Journey To Extinction Due To Environmental Degradation

Grey-Crowned Crested Cranes On Journey To Extinction Due To Environmental Degradation

The gray-rowned Crested Cranes (Balearic regulorum) are Uganda’s national symbol and heritage.

The number of these amazingly peaceful creatures has continuously continued to reduce due to man’s continued degradation of the environment.

The state minister for environment Beatrice Anywar the continued wetland destruction, its habitat, has enhanced the reduction. In 1996, the number of these crested cranes stood at 100,000.

However, as of 2016, the numbers have dropped by 90% to only 10,000.

According to data from the Ministry of Water and Environment indicates that 1990, wetlands declined from 15% to 8.4% in 2017. They reduced at a rate of 2-2.5% (75,100 Ha) annually while forests reduced from 24% to 9% in 2015 at a rate of 1.4% (200,000-220,000 Ha).

These statistics have made Uganda one of the most rapidly deforesting nations in the world.

To top on that, the amount of water available annually in the country has also declined. The annual water in Uganda reduced from 66 billion km3 in 2005 to 43 billion km3 by 2012.

New information indicated that by 2040 the situation will have worsened with serious impacts on the water needs of various sectors of the economy.

Researchers attribute the rapid decline to many drivers including but not limited to unplanned industrialization, deforestation, and agriculture.

In addition to that, the high population growth rate of 3.2% annually and poverty levels, among other drivers.

The Cabinet has agreed on several urgent actions.

‘’Encroachers are hereby given time to harvest their crops and voluntarily vacate. Those who fail to comply will face eviction. Encroachers in rural wetlands will be mobilized and re-organized to engage into alternative sustainable wetlands utilization models,’’ Anywar said.

She also said they have agreed to ban the growing of rice and other crops in wetlands.

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