Andean Flamingo

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Common Name: Andean Flamingo
Scientific Name: Phoenicopterus andinus

Size: 40 – 43 ½ inches (102-110 cm)

Habitat: South America; Found in the high Andes of Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. Preferred habitat is salt and alkaline lakes at altitudes of between 2,300 – 4,500 m above sea level. It may be nomadic in search of temporally patchy food supplies (mainly diatoms).

Status: Vulnerable. Global population: 34,000 and decreasing. It is estimated that the population of Andean flamingos has declined by as much as 24% since the mid-1980s. In the mid-20th century the collection of eggs was widespread and thousands were collected annually, with devastating results. Habitat deterioration in the form of mining activities and falling water levels, due to drought, also has played a part in the decline of this species.

The Andean flamingo is protected by its listing on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). Breeding occurs in Salinas and Aguada Blanca Nature Reserve (Peru), in Salar de Atacama National Flamingo Reserve (Chile), in Las Chinchillas Provincial Natural Reserve (Argentina) and Eduardo Avaroa National Faunal Reserve (Bolivia). Conservation actions include habitat management, prevention of egg-collecting and raising public awareness.

Diet: Algae and diatoms (phytoplankton)

Nesting: They breed together in colonies, between December and February. Usually only a single egg is laid, and breeding success appears to be low.

Cool Facts: This particular flamingo is long-lived; reaching up to 50 years of age. Flocks of Andean flamingos may be partly nomadic, searching for their inconsistent food supply of algae.

A self-sustaining captive population of Andean flamingos exists at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge in the UK. These birds provide useful research subjects into behavioral aspects of this species.

Andean miners kill Andean flamingos for their fat, believing it to be a cure for tuberculosis. The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped nature, placing an emphasis on animals and often depicted flamingos in their art.

Found in Songbird Remix Flamingos

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