Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Home
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is currently closed. Stay tuned for details about our Wild Zoo Spring Preview coming in April 2024.

Wattled Crane

Bugeranus carunculatus

Quick Facts

Scientific name: Bugeranus carunculatus
Class: Bird
Weight: 14 to 17 pounds
Life span: 20 to 30 years
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Number of offspring: 1 to 2 eggs at a time

About

I LIVE IN AFRICA

Wattled cranes are most often found frequenting wetlands and floodplains along the western coast of Africa all the way down to Africa’s southern tip.


I AM AN OMNIVORE

Although this avian species will most often eat a varied diet of aquatic vegetation, they have been known to prey on small reptiles, frogs, and insects as well.


WATTLED CRANES ARE SOCIAL

Wattled cranes can live in flocks of up to 50 individuals. This bird will often mate for life and have males have an elaborate courting ritual to help attract a female wattled crane.


WATTLE YOU THINK?

Wattled cranes get their name from the flaps of skins, or “wattles,” that hang from their chins. These wattles are a good indicator of the cranes mood, they will often relax and become elongated when the crane is comfortable and shrink with they are nervous or feeling unsure of something.


HELPING THE WATTLED CRANE IN THE WILD

The wattled cranes at the Zoo are enrolled in the Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSP is a program implemented by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to help ensure a genetically viable population exists.


I AM IMPORTANT TO MY ECOSYSTEM

Wattled cranes play a very important role in their ecosystem’s food chain as both predator and prey. This species of crane is also an indicator species. Because they rely so heavily on water and prefer wetland habitats, their presence in an ecosystem indicates good water quality and their absence may indicate negative changes to a wetlands area.


Conservation

Learn more about our efforts, our conservation partners around the world, and the simple steps you can take to contribute.

Search