No pink flamingos this year in the Fuente de Piedra lagoon, north of Málaga province in Andalusia. Punctual as clocks, the flamingos only made a brief stop to rest and immediately left again, without stopping, as is always the case. Reason? Andalusia’s largest saltwater lagoon, one of the largest in Spain at 6 km long, is dry. Completely dry.
The lack of rain since last October has dried it up. Only 220 liters per square meter of drops have fallen, which is half of what usually occurs on average.
In any other year, in March, the birds would have found at least twenty centimeters of water, which is enough for them, and they would then have been able to build their nests on a natural island located right in the middle, but since there was no water this year, they just passed through.
Just a year ago, at the same time, there were 20 thousand pairs of flamingos here, the largest colony on the Iberian Peninsula, writes the Paìs. As well as two hundred other species of birds. A continuous symphony of chirps and sounds. Today, however, there is only a ghostly silence.
The lagoon normally evaporates every summer, but the rainy season serves to replenish it with water. In 2023 this was not the case. Too dry, very little rainfall. During the 21st century this is the first time this has happened, experts assure, while in the previous one a more or less similar situation occurred once before in 1995 and then in 1997.
The lagoon, the Spanish newspaper explains, “is the main tourist attraction of Fuente de Piedra,” a quiet town near the A-92 highway with nearly 3,000 inhabitants, but now beyond the dramatic environmental situation, “the absence of the only bird colony is also a blow to the economy,” because tourist visits have dropped significantly.
“The drought is wreaking havoc,” says the local tourism councillor, who does not rule out some measure, exceptional but “also painful,” in the coming months. The secret hope was that at least in April it would rain, since only a year ago 300 liters of water fell during the same period, thus saving at least the summer.