African flamingos face grave risks due to changes in their habitats, notably the increasing water levels in lakes. This concern stems from a study published in the journal Cell Biology, conducted by scientists from King’s College London. Led by Aidan Byrne, the team utilized satellite data from 22 lakes across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania—key feeding grounds for flamingos. Over two decades, these observations unequivocally reveal rising water levels, potentially diminishing the birds’ food sources.

Consequently, researchers predict that flamingos may be compelled to seek sustenance in new, unprotected areas.

This underscores the urgent need for sustainable conservation efforts, enhanced monitoring, and improved land management practices. Byrne emphasizes, “The African continent harbors over three-quarters of the world’s lesser flamingo population, yet their numbers are alarmingly dwindling.” Without targeted interventions, endemic species face local extinction or forced displacement to more hospitable regions. The study identifies potential lakes where these birds could relocate.

Emma Tebbs of King’s College London remarks, “Flamingos naturally migrate in search of food, but the degradation of their traditional habitats poses a serious threat.” East African populations might migrate away from the equator, seeking viable food sources. Rising water levels could force lesser flamingos to rely more on unprotected lakes beyond existing reserves.

The study reveals dwindling phytoplankton levels—the primary food source for flamingos—due to water level increases, diluting the alkaline balance crucial for their survival. Nakuru Lake, experiencing a 91% surface area increase from 2009 to 2022, witnesses a near halving of phytoplankton biomass, reducing flamingos’ food availability.

Furthermore, Lake Natron, a vital breeding ground for lesser flamingos, has seen declining productivity alongside rising water levels. Should phytoplankton continue decreasing in adjacent areas, the site may no longer support breeding.

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *