22 July 2009

Action Plan for Conservation Released for Lesser Flamingo

[Cover of conservation plan for Lesser Flamingo]

Both images are from the conservation plan.

An action plan to promote conservation of the Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) that was recently released in now available in entirety online.

The long-term goal of the plan — approved in December 2008 — "is to upgrade the Lesser Flamingo from a 'near-threatened' species to a species of 'least concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species," according to the report's executive summary.

A wide-range of people contributed to the documentation included on the species habits, habitat requirements, status and other details essential to provide a suitable understanding of threats and methods to improve conditions for the flamingo's to survive and thrive.

"The Lesser Flamingo occurs regularly in 30 countries from West Africa, across sub-Saharan Africa and along the SW Asian coast to South Asia, and occurs as a vagrant in 26 additional countries. However, its global population is concentrated in 12 primary range states. Because of its specialized diet of microscopic alkaline cyanobacteria (‘blue-green algae’), the Lesser Flamingo is totally dependent on a habitat of shallow saline/alkaline lakes, pans, wetlands and coastal areas, and >95% of its non-breeding population is concentrated at just 73 sites in the 12 primary range states." — from the Executive Summary of the International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Lesser Flamingo
"Four separate populations are recognised for conservation purposes, although it is assumed that some interchange probably occurs among the populations. The largest population, estimated to be 1.5 - 2.5 million individuals, occurs on the alkaline-saline lakes of the Great Rift Valley in East Africa. Smaller populations occur in the Rann of Kachchh in north-western India, estimated to be approximately 390,000 birds, in southern Africa, estimated to be 55,000 - 65,000 birds, and in West Africa, estimated to be 15,000 - 25,000 birds."
[Distribution map of Lesser Flamingo; courtesy AEWA]
Confirmed regular breeding is confined to just five sites in four of these countries: Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana, Etosha Pan in Namibia, Lake Natron in Tanzania, and Zinzuwada and Purabcheria salt pans in India. Breeding occurred at Lake Abijata in Ethiopia in 2005, producing approximately 3,000 chicks, and has also occurred in 2008 on a new artificial breeding island at Kamfers Dam in Kimberley, South Africa, producing approximately 9,000 chicks. However, it is not yet known whether these sites will become regular breeding sites. Other major breeding sites near Bela in the Great Rann of Kachchh in India and in Aftout es Sâheli in Mauritania are also suspected, but have yet to be documented."
"The major threats to the survival of the Lesser Flamingo are the loss and/or the degradation of its specialised habitat at these key sites through altered hydrology and water quality, wetland pollution, extraction of salt and soda ash, particularly at its breeding sites, and the disruption of its few breeding colonies by other human activities. Other threats include disruption of nesting colonies by predators, particularly by the Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus), poisoning, disease, harvesting of eggs and live birds, human disturbance at non-breeding sites, predation, and competition for food and breeding sites."

The technical report was produced by:

  • IUCN-SSC/Wetlands International Flamingo Specialist Group
  • Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
  • Wetlands International
  • BirdLife International Africa Partnership

It was issued by Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds, which is the host-site for the report, available as a PDF file.

No comments:

Post a Comment