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Flamingo species in USA zoos

Discussion in 'United States' started by TinoPup, 5 Aug 2018.

  1. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone in the US keep Andean or James's flamingos?
    Also, is there any general preference to American vs Caribbean flamingo?
     
  2. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    No.

    American is the more "accurate" name since the species is native for a much wider portion of the Americas than just the Caribbean, assuming that is your question.

    ~Thylo
     
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  3. Zoological Point

    Zoological Point Well-Known Member

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    From what I've seen, American Flamingos are more common in "tropical" zoos like in California, Texas, and Florida while Chilean Flamingos are more common in temperate zoos.
     
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  4. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    No Andeans or James flamingos are left in the USA, not even in private care.

    American flamingo is the preffered species name in English publications in the last two decades or so. But many places and people still use older name "Caribbean" (including me because I find "American" to be too generic name considering American continents host 4 different flamingo species).

    I think there is similarity between US and European zoos regarding Chilean flamingos - they are usually found in zoos that built or substantially enlarged their flamingo enclosure in 1950s-1970s. At that time, Chilean flamingos were the cheapest and most frequently traded flamingo species, exported in large numbers from Argentina (which subsequently prohibited exports of wild-caught flamingos sometime in late 1970s I think and so Chileans dissappeared from animal trade almost instantly).
     
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  5. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Disappointed about the Andeans and James's, but at least there's a definitive answer for once.

    I just looked through my AZA spreadsheet and 26 include Caribbean on their websites vs 14 saying they have American. I prefer Caribbean for the same reason Jana stated. Thanks for the opinions. I'm relatively new to paying attention to birds, so I wasn't sure if it was like puma/mountain lion/cougar, where they all seem to be equally acceptable and used, or more like Siberian/Amur tiger, where one is considered correct and the other is outdated but still used.

    Interesting about the Chileans, as well! Now that you mention it, the places I've been recently did seem to mostly have Chileans in older parts of the establishments, often large ponds with some other waterfowl near entrances or eating areas, while other species tended to be in newer exhibit areas and/or were much smaller flocks.
     
  6. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Generally yes, at least on the West coast. I do not remember seeing American Flamingos north of the Sacramento Zoo. I have seen Chilean in zoos from San Diego to Seattle, and notice they are also popular on the upper California coast, such as San Francisco and Sequoia Park. I expect this is since they are more cold tolerant.
    I have also noticed Lesser seems to be more frequent farther north, as they are smaller and easier to keep inside.
     
  7. nczoofan

    nczoofan Well-Known Member

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    Here is the RCP, that includes basic data on all 4 of the flamingo species in American zoos. It includes the populations of each species as of 2008, as well as the genetic diversity. As of recently all species except American have been deemed green SSP's. American are red as of now

    http://alouattasen.weebly.com/uploa...niiformesphoenicopteriformes2008-a02ad3a4.pdf

    Does anyone know how reproduction, especially of American flamingos is outside North American zoos?
     
  8. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Please specify your question more.
     
  9. Hyak_II

    Hyak_II Well-Known Member

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    Just to add a bit more about the North American population, all four species are breeding reasonably well, with Caribbeans and Chileans doing the best. All four are also found in private hands. In Canada there are currently only Caribbeans in private hands, not many, around 15-20 or so total. In the states it is a more even mix, the most common would probably be Chileans, followed by carib's. There are a couple of private holders with Greaters, and the least established being Lessers. There are only 1-3 private holders I'm aware of, and their colonies are all strongly male shifted.
     
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  10. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    This problem is occuring also in Europe.

    While Lesser flamingos imported in 1980s and earlier to Europe seem to be of mostly balanced sex ratio, birds from newer imports (ca 1990s and later) have very scewed sex ratio toward males, in some cases females make under 5%. The only important source of lesser flamingos is Tansania now who has catch quota on wild Greater and Lesser flamingos. My theory is that the trade probably goes through one or very few inland traders and for some reason, they prefer to buy only male Lessers from local hunters.

    Due to past bad breeding results by Lessers and their higher mortality in captivity, majority of currently living Lessers in Europe are imports from last 30 years and so zoo population has only one female per every 3-4 males. This makes life for zoos that want to create breeding groups hard.
     
    Last edited: 16 Sep 2018
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  11. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    It should be possible to contact these traders and demand females specifically.

    The problem may be related to male flamingos being larger and more 'presentable' or being more likely to survive stress in captivity.

    Zoos may think of dividing their flamingo enclosures so that breedng pairs are not bothered by solitary males.
     
  12. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    I´m not a fan of further flamingo imports (except James´ and Andeans). Europe has already enough captive Lessers to start a strong and self-sustaining population. But it just fails due to lack of coordinated program (would be nice to have at least ESB).

    US is light years ahead of us, they have good running SSPs for all their species. Several zoos like Oakland keep all-male flocks of Lessers and so they help to manage male surplus on regional level.
     
  13. Stefan Verhoeven

    Stefan Verhoeven Active Member

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    For me there are 3 important reasons why lesser flamingo's are showing less breeding results in Europe:
    - The earlier stated sex ratio. Much more males than females. The last import I know from had 4 females to 16 males. Those bad ratio's have been the case from all the imports that took place in recent years.
    - Lesser flamingo's seem to need more warmth than other species to feel well. So more susceptible to illnesses and mortality in more temperate climates. And also more heat is needed to get them in breeding condition.
    - Lesser flamingo's seems to be the species that, even more than other flamingo species, need the biggest groups of conspecifics to get into breeding condition. And they need some pair bonding before they start to show breeding behaviour, so uneven sex ratio's doesn't help in this case. The groups of lesser flamingo's I know are mostly small and with uneven sex ratio's.

    Chilean flamingo's are the most common species in captivity in Western Europe. But with Chilean, Caribbean (or American) and greater flamingo's breeding is well possible when circumstances (feed, open space, big groups, little stress) are good. There are also several private breeders with >100 flamingo's and also with smaller groups in Western Europe. James' and Andean are very rare, and I am not aware of any of them being kept by private breeders in Western Europe.
     
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  14. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Unpredicatable weather at breeding lakes in Andes means that every few years (most years?) Andean Flamingos suffer mass mortality of chicks. It would be possible to collect hundreds of juveniles which are doomed to die. Together with some conservation program to protect these lakes from disturbance and pollution.

    Yes, indeed. With flamingos zoos should divide themselves into aviary breeding, aviary non-breeding, pinioned breeding and pinioned non-breeding. Zoos not willing to create breeding conditions (aviaries, large flocks, muddy, sunny nesting sites and possibly indoor breeding sites) should exchange females for surplus males or related flamingo species.
     
  15. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    Untill 2008, Planckendael did keep a flock of Andeans that disappeared to an unknown private breeder. I was never able to find out where they went, rumours said somewhere in Germany at the time.

    I think someone told me most of them have died since, but was never able to find any more info on them than rumours...
     
  16. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    erlin brought in new Andean individuals from a private collection a few years ago.

    ~Thylo