Save the Flamingos

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Flamingo conservation -- adopt a flamingo

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Flamingos in Florida flocking
Animal adoption has become a popular way of supporting charities that care for endangered and threatened species. By adopting a wild animal one can help finance conservation research, the upkeep of the animal, rehabilitation & reintroduction, anti-poaching patrols, habitat protection and restoration, wild animal rescue, education and political lobbying for threatened species.

Although animal adoption may sound like a conservation gimmick, the money received by these charities goes directly into conservation and animal welfare. Rather than waiting for change to come about through governments, why not make a difference yourself and support those who are on the front line of conservation by adopting a wild animal?

Our feathered counterparts need help too even if not pink and plastic. There are few natural predators for flamingos. Their primary threats are bacteria, toxins, polluted water, and humans encroaching on their habitats. Mining operations raise the levels of the mineral borax, which has a toxic effect on flamingos that may suppress fertility, critical for a species that lays one egg per year. To aid in flamingo conservation, scientists try to help flamingo species to establish new colonies in safer areas.

Flamingo species

There are six extant species of flamingo in three genera:

Greater flamingo

Greater flamingo The Greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is indigenous to southern Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East. It is the largest species of flamingo at 150 cm tall and weighing around 4 kg. Males are generally larger than the females.

They have pink feathers and pink legs. Their beaks are primarily dark red to black, and their wings have no black edging.

While not as numerous as their younger cousins, the Greater Flamingo is widespread with sufficient nesting grounds at present. Their conservation status is "Least Concern", which means the species is widespread, abundant, and at lowest risk.

Lesser flamingo

Lesser flamingo The Lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) is indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa and India. It is both the smallest and most common species. Their standing height is around 90 cm tall, and they weigh in around 2.7 kg. Males are generally taller than females.

They have pinkish white feathers and pink legs. Their beaks are pink with black tips, and their wings have no black edging.

The Lesser Flamingo is currently the most populous of all flamingo species, although there has been a recent decline in their population such that their status is "Near Threatened".

Andean flamingo

Andean flamingo The Andean flamingo (Phoenicoparrus andinus) is indigenous to the Andes mountains in South America. It is closely related to the James's flamingo. Their standing height is around 160 cm tall, and they weigh in around 4 kg. Males are generally taller than females.

They have pale pink bodies with bright pink feathers and yellow legs. Their beaks are yellow with black tips, and their wings have black edging which can be seen in flight.

Their conservation status is "Near Threatened" due to recent population declines. It is the rarest of all flamingo species.

American flamingo

American flamingo The American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is indigenous to the Caribbean and the western coast of South America. It was eradicated from the Florida area after the arrival of the Europeans. Their standing height is around 145 cm tall, and they weigh in around 2.2 kg. Males are generally taller than females. It is the only flamingo native to North America.

They have red to coral-pink feathers with pink legs. Their beaks are pink with black tips, and their wings have no black edging.

Their conservation status is "Least Concern", which means the species is widespread, abundant, and at lowest risk.

Chilean flamingo

Chilean flamingo The Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) is indigenous to South America, primary in Ecuador, Chile, and Peru. It is closely related to the American flamingo. Their standing height is around 130 cm tall, and they weigh in around 3.5 kg. Males are generally taller than females.

They have pale pink bodies with bright pink feathers and grey legs with pink joints. Their beaks are white with black tips, and their wings have no black edging.

Their conservation status is "Near Threatened" due to recent population declines in the wild. There are more Chilean flamingos in captivity however than any other flamingo species.

James's flamingo

James's flamingo James's flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi) is indigenous to South America, primary in Ecuador, Chile, and Peru. It is closely related to the Andean flamingo. James's flamingo was thought to have been extinct until a remote population was discovered in 1956. Their standing height is around 92 cm tall, and they weigh in around 2 kg. Males are generally taller than females.

They have pale pink feathers and red legs. Their beaks are yellow with black tips, and there is a slight amount of black on the wing tips.

Their conservation status is "Near Threatened" due to recent population declines in the wild.

Fun flamingo facts

Flamingo conservation

Adopt a flamingo


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