Facts about this animal
The Caribbean flamingo has a total length of about 120 cm. The male flamingo is somewhat larger than the female. The plumage of adult flamingos is rosy vermilion to pinkish salmon. The deepest colour is on the neck and the wing-coverts. The primary feathers are black, but are often concealed when the wings are folded. The bill is big and curved downwards. The botton third is black in colour, the remainder part is pale yellow/ivory. The eyes are yellow. Juveniles are mostly greyish with a tinge of pink on the underparts and the wings.
Did you know?
that most populations require a large colony for successful breeding? This is a problem for breeding flamingos in zoos. However, small groups have been tricked into displaying breeding activity by using mirrors.
|Name (Scientific)||Phoenicopterus ruber|
|Name (English)||Caribbean flamingo|
|Name (French)||Flamant de Cuba|
|Name (Spanish)||Flamenco del Caribe|
|CITES Status||Appendix II|
|CMS Status||Appendix II|
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|Range||Along the north coasts of South America and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Another population is located along the north-eastern rim of the Caribbean in the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and caicos Islands. The smallest population occur in the Galapagos.|
|Habitat||Saline lagoons, mudflats, shallow brackish coastal or inland lakes|
|Wild population||Not threatened, but population has declined markedly due to pollution, loss of habitat through global warming and development, and hunting. Total population is estimated 80'000 - 90'000 birds.|
|Zoo population||4041 reported to ISIS (2007)|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 17 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
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Why do zoos keep this animal
The Caribbean flamingo is not a threatened species, and zoos do not operate coordinated ex situ breeding programmes. Caribbean flamingos are thus primarily kept for educational purposes, e.g. because of their social behaviour, their unique way of feeding, or the role carotenoides play for plumage colouration. Flamingos are also excellent ambassador species for wetland conservation.