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Which EDGE species will you vote for : The Siberian crane or the Shoebill? (Poll)

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 14 Apr 2021.

?

which species will you vote for ?

Poll closed 24 Apr 2021.
  1. Shoebill

    70.0%
  2. Siberian crane

    30.0%
  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Third poll on EDGE bird species: This time it is a case of classical beauty vs the bizarre and baneful: The Siberian crane and the Shoebill.

    Both of these species are large, tall and long billed birds that inhabit wetlands, both are deeply significant to the local human cultures where they occur and yet both are threatened by overhunting and habitat destruction.


    [​IMG]

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    Which of these bird species interests you most / will you vote for ?

    Please also feel free to write comments regarding why you made the choice and why the species you have voted for interests you more.

    Thanks !

    Look forward to seeing the results!


    Photo credits to @Daniel Sörensen and @Himimomi
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2021
    UngulateNerd92 likes this.
  2. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I voted for shoebill primarily because it is the most evolutionary distinct, being the only extant member of its family (whilst there are a number of crane species).

    And, because shoebills are such bizarre looking creatures, they have always been my favourite species of bird.
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for voting and your comment @Tim May !

    That is really interesting that you mention that this species is your favourite bird species, I wouldn't have expected this.

    I also voted for the shoebill for the same reason given the evolutionary distinctiveness of the species but also the appearance of this bird which is appealingly primeval, saurian and just very gargoyle looking.

    The Siberian crane is far more endangered but I believe that it may always have much more focus on its conservation than the shoebill so though the latter is not in such dire straits as the former I still think it is probably the underdog between the two.
     
  4. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member

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    I love shoebills more than siberian cranes but I feel like it’s easier to save Siberian cranes since humans have mastered the challenge to breed them and they are more endangered than shoebills.
     
  5. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    As stated by others, the evolutionary distinctiveness of the Shoebill makes it an easy choice. Nevertheless, I wish something more had been done to supplement the Western Siberian Crane population; it is sad to read every year of the return of the one remaining individual to winter in Iran, knowing that one day it’s story will come to its inevitable end.
     
  6. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I voted for the Siberian crane because I think that is more vulnerable as it is migratory and its habitats are potentially more at risk of exploitation and pollution.
     
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for voting and the comment @gentle lemur !

    I think that it is currently more vulnerable (particularly the Western population) given as you've said its migratory behaviour and the fact that so many of the countries across South, Central and Eastern Asia where this species stops over have significant problems with habitat loss, pollution and hunting.

    That said the habitat of the shoebill is also being hit hard by habitat destruction / degradation for agriculture and cattle ranching and I can imagine these kinds of anthropogenic pressures intensifying in the future due to climate change compounding issues of food security and endemic political instability too.
     
  8. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Have to ask @Tetzoo Quizzer , have you ever seen a shoebill ?

    I agree that it is heartbreaking about the Western Siiberian crane population indeed.
     
  9. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your comment and voting @PossumRoach !

    That is a really interesting comment and you are right to suggest that the Siberian crane breeds far easier in captivity than the shoebill.

    However, I do have to say that a success ex-situ doesn't necessarily mean that a species is saved as ex-situ must be heavily integrated with in-situ conservation actions for a species to be out of the danger zone.

    You mention that the Siberian crane is more endangered than the shoebill, which of course is true but what do you mean by that ? I'm a little bit confused by that part.
     
  10. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    Shoebill seen wild in Uganda, and captive in Tokyo. Not seen Siberian Crane.
     
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Oh awesome ! When you saw the shoebill in Uganda was it with Judith Mirembe's ecotourism programme ?
     
  12. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    No; 5 of us were on a Birding Pals tour. At the Shoebill we also saw Lesser Jacana and Striped Crake to make a trio of highly prized species.
     
  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Was it relatively easy to find one in the wild ?
     
  14. carl the birder

    carl the birder Well-Known Member

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    was it in Mabamba Swamp ??
     
  15. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the late reply; yes, Mabamba Swamp where the local boatmen know exactly where to go; we just saw one being statuesque; a contrast between exceptional appearance and frankly boring behaviour (while we were there)!
     
  16. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    For me it's the Siberian Cranes, because they're significant in the cultures of a lot of countries (including Russia, India and China), and the conservation efforts have to involve all these countries.
    The saving of this species can be a very interesting project, and even bolster the international cooperation as a continental scale (as it's already the case for Common Cranes and other migrating birds in the European Union).
    We can also think to the precedent of the American White Crane, saved from a very small population of "survivors" (much smaller than the actual population of Siberian Cranes).
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2021
  17. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    No problem :), I know they sort of stand stationary for extended periods of time but they must have looked so primordial and dinosaur like with backdrop of the wetland didn't they ?
     
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your comment and voting @Haliaeetus !

    Totally agree that the conservation of the Siberian crane has done and will continue to have to involve enormous transnational conservation efforts across Asia and Europe.

    You are also right about the crane being a bird that is culturally significant but important to mention that the shoebill is also a culturally significant bird within Africa. That said it seems like the cultural significance is both a blessing and a curse depending on what country across the species range.

    For example, in some areas of Uganda it is considered in some areas by some Nilotic tribes to be a bird that it is an ill omen so is often killed by fisherman while in others it is subject to taboos against its hunting so is protected (which is believed to bring ill fortune).

    Historically it was also sacred to both the ancient Egyptian civilization and later Arab traders fondly called it "Abu Markhub" ("The father of the slipper").
     
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  19. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Interestingly, the shoebill won this one.

    Shoebill victory dance !



    On a more sombre note here is a video about the declining shoebill population in Uganda:

     
  20. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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