WCS Bronx Zoo Leads Flamingo Researchers in Banding and Health Assessment Project in Bahamas

This year brings perfect flamingo breeding conditions to Inagua National Park


Bronx, NY – July 16, 2012 – This year has been a bumper crop for Caribbean flamingos in Inagua National Park in the Bahamas. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, with the help of partner organizations, led a flamingo banding program in June to facilitate the long-term monitoring of movements across the species’ range.

Led by Dr. Nancy Clum, Curator of Ornithology at the Bronx Zoo, the researchers temporarily corralled a large group of juvenile Caribbean flamingos in order to attach leg bands, record body measurements, and conduct brief health assessments. In all, 198 flamingos were banded. The bands will enable researchers to identify these birds in the future and track movements and migration to different breeding colonies throughout the Caribbean.

A WCS veterinary team led by Dr. Bonnie Raphael performed health assessments on 47 of the flamingos. Blood samples were collected for standard heath and genetic testing as part of a regional study of Caribbean flamingos, and mouth swabs were obtained to determine possible exposure to avian diseases.

The group included 29 participants from five countries representing the Bahamas National Trust, Morton Salt, SeaWorld Orlando, Niños y Crías, Ardastra Gardens, Fort Worth Zoo, and the Bonaire Department of Environment and Nature.

The work was supported by Susan Sheridan, the International Flamingo Foundation, Morton Salt (Bahamas), and Bryan Construction.

The researchers also led activities for local students to teach them about Caribbean flamingo conservation, and worked with locals to train them to lead future banding projects.

For further information and a photography slideshow click here

Editor’s Note: For high resolution photos, please contact Max Pulsinelli at 718-220-5182 or email mpulsinelli@wcs.org.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

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