Skip navigation
21/10/2015 Climate

Flamingo Census Underway In Galapagos

An archipelago-wide study is set to start with the objective of determining how the El Niño phenomenon may affect flamingos in the Galapagos National Park (GNP).

Photograph of Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Former Projects Officer at Galapagos Conservation Trust

The following is translated from a press release from the Galapagos National Park dated 20/10/15

With increasing rainfall across the Islands, a regional effect of the El Niño phenomenon, an archipelago-wide study is set to start with the objective of determining how the weather event may affect flamingos in the Galapagos National Park (GNP). Information will be gathered in three monitoring phases which will be carried out before, during and after the weather event. The first phase of this research was conducted last weekend.

Blog, Flamingo (c) Trevor Platt

Image by Trevor Platt

Close to fifty park rangers from the GNP carried out the first phase of flamingo monitoring. The task started at 06:00 in Santa Cruz, Isabela and Floreana with monitoring teams then mobilising across known species habitat zones all over the archipelago. This census was conducted in 19 of the 42 lagoons registered as being flamingo habitats.

Once in place, technicians in different locations started the monitoring process simultaneous at 10:00. The teams collected information about number of birds, nests, presence of other birds and data regarding water levels and turbidity (cloudiness of the water).

Image supplied by the Galapagos National Park

Image supplied by the Galapagos National Park

According to the GNP technicians, this research will help to bolster understanding as to whether the increased rainfall affects the salinity of the ponds and lagoons and, in turn, whether salinity fluctuations have an effect on flamingo food sources.

“In optimal salinity and food-source conditions, the flamingos would be able to stay in one place for a longer duration before migrating”, explains Christian Sevilla, head of conservation and island ecosystem restoration.

Kléber Aguilar, head of native species conservation, outlined that the aim of this census is to highlight potential impacts that the El Niño weather event may have on these migratory birds.

The first part of the census revealed that the flamingo population is currently stable, with 342 birds across the 19 ponds and lagoons that were monitored during this stage of the research.

Translated by Dan Wright.

Related articles

Lava cactus on Santiago
23rd Aug 2023

How will El Niño affect the Galapagos Islands?

El Niño events impact all areas of Galapagos in both the terrestrial and marine environments, leading to considerable impacts on the Islands’ species.
Read more
7th Aug 2023
Climate Plastic pollution

Climate change and plastic pollution: the inextricable link

Every year, approximately 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide, half of which are single-use items. An alarming proportion of this plastic ends up infiltrating our natural environment.
Read more
Fog harvesting on Santa Cruz, Galapagos
2nd May 2023

Santa Cruz: The Evolution of the Agricultural Zone

Charlie Ferguson and Daniel Proaño discuss an innovative approach to irrigation in the water-scarce highlands of Santa Cruz, and explain how solving this problem could open up opportunities to rewild marginal agricultural land and boost endemic...
Read more
COP27 climate conference, Sharm El-Sheikh
30th Nov 2022
Biodiversity loss Climate

From COP27 to COP15: Is a global deal on biodiversity within reach?

As the dust settles on the disappointing COP27 climate change conference, we are now looking ahead to the COP15 conference on biodiversity in Montreal.
Read more

Get the latest news from Galapagos

Join our mailing list to receive our monthly email newsletter, bringing you the latest news on Galapagos and our work to protect the Islands.

Share This Page