Extinct for more than 400 years, common cranes are finding homes in the UK’s wetlands and waterways once again.

Because of conservation efforts that began in 1979, the common crane now numbers almost 200 individuals in the country, with more than 60 breeding pairs.

Famous for their courtship displays, the common crane, or Eurasian crane, was driven to extinction in the UK in the 1600s through hunting and wetland loss.

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There’s a new attitude about wetlands however, and conservation groups and governments the world over are implementing stringent protections on the special ecosystems that are more biodiverse and hold more carbon than forests.

Organizations like the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Wetlands and Wildfowl Trust (WWT) have formed a partnership with other groups to create The Great Crane Project, aimed at a massive translocation of birds from Germany into breeding sites in UK wetlands.