The Sentinels is an iconic photographic illustration of arguably the least explored South African bird species – cranes.

Photographer Daniel Dolpire presents a finely tailored coffee table book highlighting three of the 15 crane species – the Blue Crane; the Wattle Crane; and the Grey Crowned Crane. Over a span of five years, he travelled throughout South Africa’s ‘crane country’ to document these majestic birds in their natural habitat.

In their own terrain, he has captured these birds’ untouched routines, from feeding to raising chicks. According to Dolpire, this was a tedious, yet fascinating task and refers to it as ‘an amazing personal journey.’

At the end of the project the lensman collaborated with ornithologist David Allan to ensure that the text is scientifically charged and insightful. Allan’s copy contribution completes the publication and creates necessary awareness of the devastating effects of wetlands destruction and urbanisation.

The Sentinels emphasises that 11 of the 15 species are now on the endangered species list – the Wattle Crane being the most endangered in South Africa.

Daniel Dolpire is a member of the KZN Crane Foundation, an organisation dedicated to saving these birds. Visit: to learn more about the cause.

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