Common Crane resurgence proves importance of EU wildlife protections, say Greens

Keith Taylor MEP, the Green Party’s Animals spokesperson, is welcoming the news of a record-breaking resurgence in Common Cranes across the UK thanks to the work of dedicated conservationists and the EU-protected status of vital habitats. 

The latest Common Crane survey has revealed there are 48 pairs across the UK with a total population estimated at 160 birds. It is the highest number since the Common Crane returned to the UK in 1978 after an absence of four hundred years.

The Great Crane Project, a partnership of conservationist organisations including the RSPB, has been instrumental in supporting the increase in numbers on the EU-protected sites it manages.

The Common Crane can now be spotted in Norfolk, Somerset, Suffolk, East Scotland, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and South Wales.

In reaction to the survey, Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP and a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, urged Ministers to recognise the importance of EU wildlife protections.

Keith said:

“The record-breaking resurgence of the Common Crane is a timely reminder not only of the critical work organisations like RSPB are doing, day in and day out, but of the crucial importance of EU wildlife protections.”

Nearly 300 wildlife habitats in Britain receive extra EU protection to safeguard rare bird, animal, bug and plant species. Before EU protections came into force, UK nature sites were being lost at a rate of 15% a year. The losses fell to just 1% after EU intervention.”

“Britain is home to some rare and wonderful wildlife. It is incredibly important to protect endangered species at an international level. Animals and habitats we take for granted, locally, are often rare in Europe. Within the European Union, we have been able to work together with our closest neighbours to safeguard the nature and wildlife we all hold so dear.”

“The current government is no friend to animals or wildlife. The vote to leave the European Union puts our nature safeguards at risk. Greens are calling for, and will continue to fight for, vital EU protections to be maintained and strengthened in any exit negotiations.”