This embroidery captures the graceful movements of the Grey Crowned crane, as well as their dazzling crests and gorgeous plumage, all set off by the sparkling waters of the Nile.
The Grey Crowned crane (Balearica regurolum) is common throughout eastern and southern Africa but is threatened due to habitat destruction, livestock overgrazing, and pesticide use. Other threats include hunting and live trapping. It is a common practice in Rwanda to keep Grey Crowned cranes, which never breed in captivity, as pets. Unfortunately, they are subject to poaching. According to the Association pour la Conservation de la Nature au Rwanda, an adult bird can fetch around $100 US—a lot of money locally—and poachers around Lake Kivu sell them for food. Conservationists fear the species may disappear if these practices continue. The Grey Crowned crane is also the national bird of Uganda.