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Drought threatens thousands of flamingos in S. Africa



Rescuers move hundreds of dehydrated smaller flamingos from their breeding sites in the harsh South African dam of the bird temple in Cape Town to rescue them from hunger and water scarcity.

Their native place, Kamfers Dam in the Northern Cape, is one of three breeding places for faint pink birds in southern Africa, while the other two are in Namibia and Botswana, according to researcher Kattah Madini.

Rescued smaller flamingo saws were fed after they were relocated from North Cape Province to Sankob Rehabilitation Center in Cape Town, South Africa, on January 30, 2019.

Rescued smaller flamingo saws were fed after they were relocated from North Cape Province to Sankob Rehabilitation Center in Cape Town, South Africa, on January 30, 2019.

The saved chicks take three to four months to expose it, and it's still unclear whether they will eventually be released back into the wild in Cape Town or will return hundreds of miles to their Kimberley home, she said.

"There are still a few thousand birds that are breeding in the dam in areas where there is still water," says Katta Ludini, head of research at the South African Coast Conservation Foundation (SANCCOB). "It is now dependent on the water level whether these birds will retreat."

Madness said the sanctuary had taken care of about 550 chickens, most of them dehydrated when they arrived on Monday, after being abandoned by parents who went to search for food.

Chicks are moved to the sanctuary by plane and route.

Slaughtered smaller flamingo pussy came out of the box after being moved from a dam in the province of North Cape to Sankob Rehabilitation Center in Cape Town, South Africa, January 30, 2019.

Slaughtered smaller flamingo pussy came out of the box after being moved from a dam in the province of North Cape to Sankob Rehabilitation Center in Cape Town, South Africa, January 30, 2019.

SANCCOB is one of the few centers in South Africa that takes care of about 2,000 chicks that were rescued from the dam.

Although hosted by the largest population of smaller flamingos in southern Africa, the Campers Dam, to the north of Kimberly, is often dry and mainly dependent on the rainwater. He also gets water from sewage works that releases water in their wetlands.

"The dam in Kimberley is so important because it can be managed so we can provide the water level there. It may be the only location that flamingos can be grown in South Africa if the drought continues in other areas," said Madness.


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