How You Can Help Conserve Flamingos

Photo by jdross75/

Climate change is upon us, and billions of lifeforms across planet earth are and will continue to be affected. Flamingos are not immune to these unstable conditions, and as a fan of the fabulous fowl, you might wonder what you can do in your life to help conserve these amazing creatures.

First, let me be sure not to alarm you: flamingos are not considered an endangered species. Not even close, really. Flamingos as a whole are categorized under “Least Concern” by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. About half of the bird’s species seem to be thriving in the modern world.

However, a few flamingo species are categorized in more concerning categories. Lesser flamingos, which are mostly found in southern Africa, eastern Africa, western Africa, and the Indian subcontinent, are classified as “Near Threatened” and with a decreasing population. Chilean and Puna flamingos, which both call South America home, share the same distinction. Andean flamingos are the worst off, considered “Vulnerable” and with a decreasing population, according to the IUCN.

So, what can you do to aid these gorgeous birds in their fight for adaptation and survival? Here are a handful of tips to forge a positive future for flamingo-kind.

How to Help Conserve Flamingos

Photo by jdross75/

Donate Money

This is the easiest way to help out while also making a clear, direct difference. It’s probably where your head went as soon as you saw the headline of this article. Truthfully, you likely didn’t need me to tell you this for you to assume it to be true. But what you do need is some guidance into where said donations should go.

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is one of the top organizations for bird conservation out there. It works throughout the Americas, meaning it is not limited just to the United States. This is especially helpful if you are donating with flamingos specifically in mind; outside of the few flamingos in the Florida Everglades, you won’t find many of the birds out in the wild within this nation’s borders. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, though, there are thousands of wild flamingos living their lives every day.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) works to save wildlife around the world, but it has been particularly involved in the protection of lesser flamingos in East Africa. According to its website, WWF-Kenya is “using an integrated approach to tackle water challenges and further conserve (Lake Natron),” one of the greatest hotspots in the world for flamingos of any species.

There is no end to the charities you can donate to. I cannot possibly know all of them. I also cannot possibly vet all of them. Be careful with your money, but don’t let that stop you from pitching in to keep these amazing creatures safe - just do so responsibly! 

If you know of an organization working hard to do right by flamingos, please let us know! We would love to learn more.

Help Make Flamingos Florida Residents

No, this is not me telling you to invite flamingos into your home or your neighborhood. Do not artificially move flamingos to Florida in an attempt to reintroduce them to the Sunshine State. Simply do what you can to get them recognized as previous tenants, and that will do plenty to help the fabulous fowl.

In recent years, there has been a greater push to acknowledge the rich history flamingos have in the state. Zoo Miami has made it its mission to get the bird recognized as a native Florida animal, and some Florida legislators made yet another push earlier this year to have the fabulous fowl supplant the northern mockingbird as its state bird. The reason why this is important is that it would allow for the state to support the conservation and reintroduction of flamingos safely into Florida habitats and do wonders for the future of the bird in America’s deep southeast.

If you live in Florida, you could consider writing to your state representative. You could also get involved with Zoo Miami and its efforts. If you don’t live in Florida, you can still reach out, and there is probably a way that someone can make a use out of you.

Go Somewhere with Flamingos & Get Involved

Easier said than done, sure. But if you have the time, have the money, and have the passion, you could do worse for the world than go where flamingos are and work for them. Some people choose that lifestyle intentionally. Others, like Cornell graduate Marita Davidson, stumble upon it.

No matter how they get there, people are needed on the ground to help flamingos get what they need. The opportunity is out there for you to be one of them, if you so wish.

Support Your Zoo

Zoos are doing a lot more than nurturing flamingos, but a lot of them are doing that, and supporting them is one of the simplest yet most impactful things you could do without even leaving your city.

If a zoo has flamingos, then it is already researching and learning more about the birds to help conserve them. Your patronage not only directly provides the zoo with necessary money, but your attendance also is helpful when it comes time to apply for grants and other methods of funding that organizations like zoos utilize.

Cool It on the Lithium

Those batteries inside your smartphone came from inside the earth, and extracting the minerals necessary wasn’t pretty. Sometimes, the lithium used in these technologies are sourced from salt flats that flamingos call home. At least, used to call home, until their homes were dug up to mine the lithium.

To help flamingos and their habitats, don’t consume electronic products with lithium as much as possible. You don’t need to get the latest upgrade on every piece of tech when it comes out. Be patient, don’t over-consume, and wait until you need something to buy it. There are also companies that attempt, or at least claim to attempt, to procure lithium sustainably. I will not list them, as I do not want to send you somewhere that is not telling the truth, and I do not have the means to verify such information. But such claims are made by some. You be the judge of their legitimacy.

Limit Your Pollution

This is especially true if you live near to where wild flamingos do, but even if you don’t, it’s still generally a good idea to not pollute any more than you must.

This isn’t just something that will help flamingos - all living things, including humans, rely on this earth to live long, healthy lives. Without this planet, all of us are nothing. Doing your best to keep waterways safe from debris and toxic waste, not dumping nasty things in wildlife habitats, and overall living a simple, low-means lifestyle will make a positive impact on not only the living things around you but throughout the entire world.

We are all interconnected - all humans, of course, but also everything else stuck on this space rock with us. We have to take care of one another. If we don’t, who will?

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