Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds

Flamingos return to Kamfers Dam

Flamingos return to Kamfers Dam

On the morning of Thursday, 2 May 2019, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) boxed 44 of the remaining Lesser Flamingo chicks for transfer back to Kamfers Dam in the Northern Cape. The chicks have been received at a quarantine enclosure at the Dam, where they will undergo veterinary checks and final assessment before release. There are now only five flamingo chicks at SANCCOB and in a couple of days, they will be flown to Pretoria and placed in the care of National Zoological Gardens of South Africa until they too are fit for release.

SANCCOB received over 500 Lesser Flamingo chicks 13 weeks ago on 28 January when they were taken off the Kamfers Dam due to low water levels. Donations of supplies and volunteers made it possible for the organisation to cope with the additional tasks and costs incurred to provide the best rehabilitation to save every chick possible. 91 birds survived and over the last two weeks, the first batch of 42 chicks were transferred on 17 April, and all the necessary permits have been acquired to get the remaining birds back to the wild.

With the onset of the winter rain in and around Kimberley, as well as improvements in the sewage works adjacent to Kamfers Dam, the water levels at the Dam are now at a much higher level than 13 weeks ago. BirdLife South Africa has been monitoring the algae concentrations at the Dam and the current levels look favourable for the release of the hand-reared flamingos back onto the dam to join the large flock of wild flamingos present.

Dr Katta Ludynia, SANCCOB Research Manager, says, “Thanks to the national and international attention that Kamfers Dam and the Lesser Flamingos breeding there have received during these last months, we are confident that the Kimberley municipality will increase their efforts to secure the water levels at Kamfers Dam and increase the protection of the site. Hopefully the flamingos will continue to breed at the site without any further interventions.”

May 2, 2019

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