North American Crane Working Group


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Harris, James T. "Managing Nature Reserves for Cranes in China.", In: Stahlecker D. W., ed. 1992. Proceedings of the Sixth North American Crane Workshop, Oct. 3-5, 1991, Regina, Sask. (Grand Island, NE.: North American Crane Working Group, 1992), 1-11.


Conference co-sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatchewan Parks and Renewable Resources Department, and the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, Canadian Council. Proceedings used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


During the past 15 years, China has established more than 300 nature reserves. Many of the wetland reserves have been created primarily to protect endangered cranes. This paper summarizes the status of 22 nature reserves, 13 for breeding cranes and 9 for wintering cranes. The nature reserves have often been established in areas heavily populated or intensively used for economic purposes. Many reserves have been effective in stopping hunting of cranes. Taking of eggs or young has also been greatly reduced, but general human disturbances threaten successful nesting. Reserve authorities have also taken steps to prevent destruction or degradation of habitats, with mixed results. Nature reserve managers still cannot control most economic activities within reserve boundaries. North American conservationists have played an important role in assisting development of nature reserves. This paper suggests how North American approaches must be modified for China. In China, protective measures for reserves should be linked with compatible programs for local economic development. Preliminary efforts are described.