Flamingo Research & Conservation in South America

Co-led by Dr. Felicity Arengo, CBC Associate Director, the High Andean Flamingo Conservation Initiative has continued to monitor flamingo populations, and work closely with local partners and communities to protect their habitat. As a result of years of work together, local communities knew to reach out to the project to report the flamingo die-off that was observed in December 2016, allowing for a rapid response. The team that responded equipped the local guides and park staff in key monitoring variables and observations, so that monitoring and reporting in the aftermath of the die-off can continue. 

Recent analyses show that the die-off was likely due to a food shortage. In order to better understand the food webs of these highly variable environments, samples are now being collected from key wetlands for limnology studies. Recent reports from our field monitors indicate that the wetlands have returned to usual levels, and an estimated 10,000 apparently healthy Puna Flamingos are now at Laguna Grande. 

The project was recently awarded a grant from the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund to work with local provincial government authorities to train park staff and community members in monitoring and reporting unusual events related to habitat and wildlife. This funding will help us continue to build a robust dataset for analysis of environmental changes. 

Learn more about our work on Flamingos in the Americas.