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A Living Fossil at Tehran Zoo

With its large yellow crown, Grey Crowned Crane has an odd charm of its own. It is one of the world’s rarest birds, with subspecies: East African Crowned Cranes (Balearic regulorum gibbericeps) and South African Crowned Cranes (Balearic regulorum regulorum).The reasons for the species’ decline are not known for certain but International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) says the species is threatened by the loss and degradation of wetland breeding areas through drought-related changes in land-use for cultivation, drainage and overgrazing, as well as through the heavy use of agricultural pesticides, declines in fallowing practices, high sedimentation rates (due to deforestation, uncontrolled grass and deep litter fires in the breeding season), dam construction (for hydroelectric power generation and groundwater extraction, leading to changes in hydrological regimes such as unseasonal flooding).The species is also threatened by live-trapping (for trade), egg-collecting and hunting, and by indirect disturbance from the hunting of large mammals or ducks in wetlands and the activities of fisheries.