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Galapagos Flamingo Study

Galapagos Flamingo Study
Rachel Dex

Rachel Dex in GalapagosWe have more conservation news, this time on the flamingo population in the Galapagos Islands.

Last weekend the Galapagos National Park undertook the first stage in a three part study of the flamingos in Galapagos to find out more about how the El Nino weather phenomenon impacts the flamingo population in Galapagos.

The study will have three stages; before, during and after the El Nino event. The first stage ‘before’ was carried out at the weekend when 50 Galapagos National Park Guards counted the number of flamingos, nest numbers, water levels and other bird life at 19 of the 42 lakes and pools registered in Galapagos that are habitats for Flamingos across the islands of Santa Cruz, Floreana, Isabela, Santiago and Rabida.

Galapagos Flamingo StudyLast weekend’s study of this migratory bird found that the population is currently stable with 342 birds registered in the 19 pools studied. The concern is that the extra rainfall during the El Nino event may change the salinity of the pools, thus impacting the availability of food and therefore the ability of the flamingos to nest in Galapagos. Their food (which consists mainly of brine shrimp, a tiny shrimp like creature) thrives in brackish water which is half salt water, half fresh water.

Unlike the Galapagos Penguin and Flightless Cormorant that we wrote about in our blog post last week, the flamingo is able to fly to other locations if it’s food supply becomes short. We will keep you posted as the National Park announces the results of the study and are working on a blog post to give you more information about El Nino and how it will affect the wildlife in the Galapagos.

The photograph attached was taken by Santiago Bejarano at Floreana Island.