25 April 2012 - In 2011, the Convention on Migratory
Species (CMS) and Centro de Estudios en Biología
Teórica y Aplicada (BIOTA -Center for Studies in
Theoretical and Applied Biology), agreed to cooperate on
a large project within the framework of the CMS Memorandum
of Understanding on High Andean Flamingos, as part of its
implementation. The initiative is being funded by the CMS
through its Small Grants Programme (SGP).
This project to monitor populations of
High Andean Flamingos and their breeding colonies provides
data that are essential in order to know the current conservation
status of these populations and establish the trends of
the breeding colonies. The data obtained will be the basis
for developing a programme, in collaboration with institutions
from Argentina and Bolivia, to monitor and protect the species
in the future. The objective of the project is to study,
during the 2011-2012 breeding season, reproduction and active
nesting sites, count the flamingos’ breeding colonies
in priority sites, and identify the principal threats to
This project also includes a key element
of capacity building to involve park rangers and training
them on monitoring techniques.
The monitoring activities began on August
1, 2011 and will end on May 31, 2012. The important information
obtained through the study is presented at regular intervals,
once half way through the project and again at the end.
After it is completed, a final evaluation of the breeding
success of High Andean Flamingos will be presented.
A summary of the mid-term report, including
the outcomes of the work conducted to date, is presented
In January 2012, investigators from two
institutions, BIOTA in Bolivia and YUCHAN in Argentina,
simultaneously carried out a census of High Andean Flamingos
(Phoenicoparrus jamesi and P. andinus)
in the Jujuy and Catamarca wetlands in Argentina and the
wetlands of southwest Potosí in Bolivia.
This broad census covered a total of 81
wetlands, and as a result of this study, it is estimated
that in January 2012, these ecosystems were home to 93%
of the entire global population of P. jamesi flamingos
and 48.7% of the entire P. andinus population.
1. Simultaneous Census of High Andean Flamingos in
Jujuy, Catamarca (Argentina) and Southwest Potosí
(Bolivia) in January 2012
During the November 2011 to April 2012
breeding period, High Andean flamingos were monitored in
28 wetlands of Southwest Potosí, Bolivia. These 28
wetlands are located in the “Los Lípez,”
which has been designated as a Ramsar site and has an area
of 1.4 million hectares. “Los Lípez,”
located between 4,200 and 6,000 m above sea level on the
Bolivian plateau is a complex of permanent saline, hypersaline
and alkaline endorheic lakes, as well as bofedal wetlands
systems and geothermal wetlands.
As of February 2012, a total of 16,106
chicks of the two flamingo species were hatched at five
lakes (Table 2), which included 10,489 P. jamesi
and 4,208 P. andinus chicks hatched on Lake Colorada.
In Argentina this year, only P. jamesi showed signs
of nesting with 259 nests at Lake Honda and 200 nests at
Data on nesting and chicks hatched up
to the end of February 2012 in southwest Bolivia support
the assumption that this flamingo breeding period will be
quite successful compared with last year when only 600 juveniles
were recorded at Lake Colorada in April 2011.
However, the accuracy of this assumption
depends on local inhabitants not interfering with nesting
colonies to collect eggs and other factors such as depredation
of the colonies by the Andean fox or rain, which can flood
nesting colonies. In April 2012, monitoring of flamingo
nesting colonies will be stepped up to determine how many
of the juveniles survived. .
2. High Andean Flamingo Chicks, by Species, Born at
Lakes in Southwest Potosí, Bolivia (as of February