Reid Park Zoo Helps Protect Wild Flamingos!

Today is International Flamingo Day, and We Have a Lot to Celebrate!

In just the past few months Reid Park Zoo has opened our new flamingo habitat for our flock of Chilean flamingos and has helped create the Andean Highland Flamingo SAFE Species Program Three-Year Plan in our role as leaders of this SAFE program (Saving Animals From Extinction). International Flamingo Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate everything that we are doing for flamingos and share information and activities so that you can join the fun!

Our flock of 26 Chilean flamingos have been thriving in their newly constructed lagoon in our Welcome Plaza. This new habitat allows the birds to engage in all of their natural behaviors like filter feeding, wading, socializing, nesting, and more! We also love that the location of this new habitat will allow more guests to connect with flamingos and be inspired to learn about and protect them.

Reid Park Zoo is a leader of the Andean Highland Flamingo SAFE program. This means that we are responsible for organizing and supporting the recovery and conservation of Andean, Chilean, and Puna (James’s) flamingos through research, public engagement, targeted training, community outreach, and education. We recently collaborated to create a 3-year plan to ensure sustainable populations of Andean highland flamingos. The program will help fill research gaps and assist with the identification, prioritization, and designation of critical flamingo habitat in Chile’s northern Andean highlands. Other zoos and conservation organizations around the country have partnered with us in this program to collaborate with wild flamingo research and conservation efforts in South America. We are all working together to protect flamingos!

One of the first efforts we are supporting is identifying wild flamingos’ preferred habitats. Researchers in Chile have begun attaching small GPS tracking backpacks to wild flamingos to monitor where they travel. This information allows us to understand where flamingos like to live so we know which areas to protect!

You can help protect flamingos too! One way to help wildlife like flamingos is to be a responsible traveler. Flamingos can be threatened by tourists who get too close, so when traveling remember to leave wildlife wild and give animals space and respect. You can also help protect flamingos by maintaining your cell phone and using it for as long as possible before purchasing a new one. Flamingo habitat is threatened by lithium mining, a material used in building cell phones. By using your cell phone for as long as possible before upgrading and recycling it when you do upgrade you can help slow the demand for more lithium. Lastly, you can support all of these fantastic flamingo feats by supporting your Zoo! Every time you visit Reid Park Zoo you support our conservation fund. You can also donate directly to this fund here.

Now let’s have some fun! Keep an eye on our social media throughout the day for information and activities that celebrate flamingos. To get started, do you know what species of Andean highland flamingo you would be? Take the quiz to find out!