The rise of the Common Cranes in Camargue
Common Cranes are stunning birds. With an impressive height of 95-120cm, and wingspan of 180-200cm, they are truly mesmerizing. In France, the historical migration corridor crosses the country in a diagonal from the North East to the South West, with famous migration stops such as Lake Der-Chantecoq (Lac du Der) or the Réserve d'Arjuzanx.
In the South East of France though, Common Cranes have been pretty rare. But this was until the late 2000's. Numbers are now increasing, and they are increasing fast. From only a few individuals up until the end of last century, the counters coordinated by the Tour du Valat have counted 200 in 2004, 300 in 2006, 3600 in 2012, more than 14000 in 2017, and about 15500 in January 2018.
Thus, Camargue has quickly become a very important area for the wintering Common Cranes.
Present from November to beginning of March, it is now quite easy to spot hundreds of Common Cranes feeding in the fields or in flight. This amazing evolution is probably directly related to the great increase of Common Cranes taking the historical western european migration route. Numbers have been multiplied by 10 in the last 40 years, reaching 350000 birds in 2015! Also, the wetlands of Camargue offer great roosting areas for the cranes.
This evolution is fantastic news for the species and we are always delighted to see these beautiful birds during our tours.
Source : https://tourduvalat.org/en/projects/grue-cendree-pleine-expansion-camargue/