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Home > Species > Caribbean Flamingo
Caribbean Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
Alternative names: American Flamingo, Cuban Flamingo, Pink Flamingo, West-Indian Flamingo.

The Caribbean Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber is the most vividly pink flamingo and the only species that does not share any part of its range with another flamingo species.

It is found on the northern coast of South America, the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and a range of Caribbean islands. There is also an isolated population on the Galapagos Islands. Sometimes considered a seperate sub-species, the Galapagos flamingos are the only flamingos that breed in small groups (as few as 3 - 4 pairs).

The Caribbean Flamingo shares the genus Phoenicopterus with the Greater and Chilean Flamingo, and some sources consider the Greater and Caribbean Flamingo sub-species of Phoenicopterus ruber. When considered a sub-species the scientific name of the Caribbean Flamingo is Phoenicopterus ruber ruber.

It is distinguised from all other flamingos by its large size (almost as large as the Greater Flamingo, averaging up to 140 cm) in combination with its bright orange-pink plumage.

Sections:
  • Taxonomy
  • Description
  • Range & habitat
  • Population & status
  • Threats
  • Conservation measures
  • Captive collections
  • References

  •  

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    Taxonomy

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    Order:
    Family:
    Genus:
    Species:
    Phoenicopteriformes
    Phoenicopteridae
    Phoenicopterus
    Phoenicopterus ruber (Linnaeus, 1758)

    Phoenicopterus ruber (Sibley and Monroe, 1990, 1993) has been split into P. roseus and P. ruber following Knox et al. (2002), contra SACC (2005).
    Source: BirdLife (Caribbean Flamingo Species Factsheet)

    Description

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    Caribbean Flamingo Height: 120 - 140 cm
    Weight: 2.2 - 2.8 kg
    Wingspan: c. 150 cm
    Voice: Goose-like honking

    Large flamingo. Bright orange-pink plumage. Bill is pink and white with a black tip less than half the total bill size. Pale yellow eyes and pink legs.

    Similar species: Greater Flamingos are paler and generally do not have white on their bills.
    Sources: The Animal Files (Caribbean Flamingo) and San Diego Zoo (Caribbean Flamingo Factsheet)

    Range & habitat

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    Range estimate (breeding/resident): 330,000 km2


    From BirdLife: The Caribbean Flamingo has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 330,000 km².

    Sources: BirdLife (Caribbean Flamingo Species Factsheet) and The Animal Files (Caribbean Flamingo)


    Population & status

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    Population estimate:
    Population trend:
    850,000 - 880,000 (2002 estimate)
    Unquantified (probably stable)
    • 435 individuals on the Galapagos Islands (2001 estimate; Brueker & Vargas 1998, Delany & Scott 2002)
    • 60,000 in the Bahamas (c. 2000 estimate; Delany & Scott 2002)
    • 100,000 - 200,000 in Cuba (2000 and 1996 estimates respectively; FSG 2000, Delany & Scott 2002)
    • 34,000 in Venezuela and Bonaire (1996 estimate; Delany & Scott 2002, Espinoza et al. 2000 )
    • 30,000 in the Yucatan Peninsula (Delany & Scott 2002)
    IUCN Red List catergory:
    CMS listing:
    CITES listing:
    Least Concern (BirdLife, 2008)
    Appendix II
    Appendix II
    Source: BirdLife (Caribbean Flamingo Species Factsheet) and San Diego Zoo (Caribbean Flamingo Factsheet)

    Threats

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    • Habitat loss: road construction and development of housing and shipping docks.
    • Lead poisoning: ingestion of lead shot. About 100 flamingos were reported to have died in the Yucatán in 1989. Lead bullets are now prohibited.
    • Disturbance: large numbers of tourists, bird watchers and photographers can disturb colonies enough to cause substantial losses of eggs and young.
    • Over-collection by zoos: a problem predominantly of the past before the captive diet was improved

    Source: San Diego Zoo (Caribbean Flamingo Factsheet)


    Conservation measures

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    A small number of birds were re-introduced to Anegada, British Virgin Islands (see Conservation Initiatives).


    Captive collections

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    According to the International Species Information System (ISIS) (data downloaded 13 Oct 2008) 4,428 Caribbean Flamingos are registered in captivity in 169 collections.

    Between 13 Oct 2007 and 13 Oct 2008, 116 chicks were registered as having hatched in captivity.

    Source: International Species Information System (ISIS)


    References

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    BirdLife. 2008. Caribbean Flamingo Species Factsheet. From http://www.birdlife.org/
    datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=31025&m=0, downloaded 15 Nov 2008.

    International Species Information System (ISIS). ISIS Species Holdings. From http://www.isis.org/CMSHOME/, downloaded 13 Oct 2008.

    San Diego Zoo. 2003. Caribbean Flamingo Factsheet. From http://spot.colorado.edu/
    ~humphrey/fact%20sheets/flamingo_caribbean/flamingo.htm, downloaded 15 Nov 2008.

    The Animal Files. Caribbean Flamingo. From http://www.theanimalfiles.com/birds/
    flamingos/caribbean_flamingo.html, downloaded 15 Nov 2008.

    Related Publications

     >>  A review of the ecology and conservation of Caribbean Flamingos in Yucatán, Mexico
    From Waterbirds 2000

     >>  Social and reproductive relationships of captive Caribbean Flamingos
    From Waterbirds 2000

     >>  Activity and habitat-use patterns of breeding Caribbean Flamingos in Yucatán, Mexico
    From The Condor 1989

    More publications >>

    Related Links

     >>  BirdLife Species Factsheet -
    Caribbean Flamingo

    From BirdLife

     >>  IUCN Species Account -
    Phoenicopterus ruber

    From IUCN

     >>  Caribbean Flamingo Factsheet
    From San Diego Zoo

     >>  Caribbean Flamingo
    From Wikipedia

     >>  Caribbean Flamingo Reintroduction to Anegada,
    British Virgin Islands

    From The Conservation Agency

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