Book Chapter


Jane E. AustinK S Gopi Sundar
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Chapter 6. Methods to reduce conflicts between cranes and farmers

Alternative methods to reduce conflicts between cranes and farmers range fromrelatively simple, inexpensive disturbance methods to changes in land use at a landscape scale.Visual and acoustics disturbance methods can be useful for small fields or gardens but requirefrequent changes to prevent habituation by the cranes. Changes in farming practices can beimplemented by individual farmers and matched to the local situation. By altering timing ofseeding and harvest, harvest methods, and other management practices, farmers can minimizethe vulnerability of the crop or its attractiveness to cranes. Crop damage can be reduced bystrategically locating high-risk crops away from crane roosts or high-use areas. Diversionaryfields, where cranes can forage on nutritious, preferred foods near their roost withoutdisturbance, are one of the more effective methods to reduce crop damage. Artificial feedingmay be appropriate as a temporary measure but its long-term use should only be a last optionwhere no alternative wintering areas or food resources are available or restorable. Chemicaltreatment of seeds can deter cranes from taking newly sown seeds and seedlings. Conflictswith farmers can be mitigated by financial or other compensation, or through conservationapproaches. Financial mechanisms should be used cautiously as they can dilute or corruptlocal traditions of tolerance. An integrated approach, using several methods, is more likely tobe effective in the long term. Farmers and communities are more likely to embrace alternativemeasures if they understand basic crane ecology and if the measures are clearly beneficial to thefarmers. Developing a broader range of tools to better understand the conflict, to understandfarmer perceptions of cranes, and to help implement strategies to improve positivist attitudes isnecessary. Multi-disciplinary approaches that incorporate social, economic as well as ecologicalaspects of the issue are very rare, and much needed to develop workable solutions.

Editors: Jane E Austin and Kerryn Morrisson; pp. 117-141.; published by International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA