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CBC Associate Director Felicity Arengo Profiled in New Conservation Book

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For her research on flamingos, Felicity Arengo, associate director of the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation,has been profiled in Wildlife Heroes, a new book by Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken. Combining photographs and fun facts with tales from the field, Wildlife Heroes features 40 conservationists dedicated to saving some of Earth’s diverse wildlife.

Arengo’s fieldwork has taken her across South America, from high-altitude lakes to fertile lowlands. “Flamingos are adapted to environments described as ‘inhospitable,’” says Arengo. “They live in landscapes of extreme salt, wind, sun, and high altitudes.” It takes a dedicated team to follow the birds and track their numbers.

Arengo’s research includes monitoring flamingo populations with the Grupo de Conservación de Flamencos Altoandinos (GCFA), or High Andes Flamingo Conservation Group. This initiative is establishing a network of the most critical sites for flamingo conservation, working with rangers, community members, and management authorities to protect these areas while coordinating a census of flamingos throughout their range every five years.

In Wildlife Heroes, Scardina and Flocken highlight the importance of flamingos in wetland ecosystems. The GCFA has engineered a regional conservation plan that designates flamingos as a flagship species for saving these environments; by rallying support for the popular pink bird, a whole web of wetland organisms can be conserved.

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