Information on Flamingos Page 3


Flamingo Information

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flamingo three

Flamingos nest in large colonies. They lay eggs in cone shaped mud nests. One egg is laid at a time which both parents incubate. Flamingos produce"milk" like pigeon milk from a hormone called prolactin. Its mostly fat with red and white blood cells, and it is produced in glands lining the whole of the upper digestive tract. Both parents nurse their chick for about two months until their bills are developed enough to filter feed.

Future of the Flamingo

Probably the most serious threat to lesser flamingos is the proposed soda extraction plant at Lake Natron in Tanzania. Lake Natron is the only breeding ground for Phoeniconaias minor flamingos in eastern Africa. Because flamingos rely on cyanobacteria blooming cycles to breed, the lake's balance (salinity and mineral composition) is crucial to these flamingos well being.

Pollution causing disease may be a threat at Lake Nakuru, but recent tests of birds around the lake did not reveal harmful levels of pollutants in the birds' tissues.

A disease outbreak killed an estimated 25,000 lesser flamingos in Kenya in September and October 1993 (see African Wildlife Update, November-December 1993). Scientists found evidence that the outbreak was caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common water-borne bacterium. Other theories on the cause are avian cholera, botulism, metal pollution, and pesticides.


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