Rare cranes lay an egg in Gloucestershire

Conservationists at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire have set up a round-the-clock guard to protect the first crane egg laid in western Britain in over 400 years.

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Crane eggs under 24 hour guard at Slimbridge

Cranes at Slimbridge have laid an egg Credit: ITV News West Country

Conservationists at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire have set up a round-the-clock guard to protect the first crane egg laid in western Britain in over 400 years.

Hunting and the loss of wetlands drove cranes to extinction in Britain by 1600. Since 2010, the Great Crane Project has been rearing cranes in captivity and reintroducing them to the West Country.

The egg at WWT Slimbridge is the first known to be laid by cranes released by the project, the oldest of which only reached maturity this year.

The female bird does most of the incubating but the male bird can be seen swapping over with her so she can go and feed.

WWT’s Nigel Jarrett said:

“Cranes are an iconic part of British wildlife and one that was all but lost for centuries. There is a long way to go before cranes become widespread again, but it is absolutely momentous to see this egg laid at Slimbridge."

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Round-the-clock guard for rare crane egg

The adult cranes are doing their best to protect their egg but Slimbridge has brought in extra security because it is so precious Credit: ITV News West Country

Conservationists at the Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire have set up a round-the-clock guard to protect the first crane egg laid in the South West in over 400 years.

Hunting and the loss of wetlands drove cranes to extinction in Britain.

For the last three years, the Great Crane Project has been rearing the birds in captivity and reintroducing them to the West Country.

The egg at WWT Slimbridge is the first known to be laid by cranes released by the project.

Bird spotters are able to see the male and female cranes taking turns at sitting on the nest.

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