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Scottish crane population hits record high - RSPB

Common Crane, Grus grus, confirmed breeding of at least one pair at Lakenheath Fen RSPB reserve. Suffolk, England. 17th May, 2007. Possibly for the first time in 400 years! Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Common Crane, Grus grus, confirmed breeding of at least one pair at Lakenheath Fen RSPB reserve. Suffolk, England. 17th May, 2007. Possibly for the first time in 400 years! Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

Numbers of breeding cranes reached a record high in Scotland thanks to peatland restoration and wetland protection

The latest common crane survey reveals seven pairs in Scotland in 2020 and 64 pairs across the UK – both records.

Scotland’s breeding cranes might be on the cusp of a large increase

Cranes became extinct in the UK nearly 400 years ago and only began breeding in Scotland again in 2012, having returned to England in 1979. All Scotland’s cranes nest in North East Scotland.

Protecting and restoring peat bogs and other wetlands in this area would not only benefit cranes but help other wildlife as well as storing vast amounts of carbon

The number of cranes in Scotland and the UK reached record highs last year at seven pairs and 64 pairs. North East Scotland is home to all the known birds in Scotland, which now make up more than 10% of the UK population. The total UK population is now believed to be over 200 birds – also a new record.

RSPB Scotland believes that protecting and restoring more of the peat bogs in North East Scotland would not only benefit cranes but could have huge benefits for other wildlife as well as helping to tackle the climate emergency through storing vast amounts of carbon.

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