The altoandino, is the largest type of flamingo, within the 3 species found in Chile. It measures between 79 and 145 cm. tall, however, their legs are large in relation to their body. Its light pink plumage becomes more intense towards its posterior area. At MERI Foundation, we are working on their conversation, and here we tell you how.
The conservation of nature and its biodiversity is a task that requires collaboration and teamwork, especially in territories where the search for sustainable development becomes prevailing, as it is in San Pedro de Atacama. Territory where half (3) of the world’s flamingo species reproduce every year, in its high Andean lagoons and salt flats, beeing these ecosystems of great interest to the lithium mining industry.
In 2021, MERI Foundation joins the SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program for the conservation of high Andean flamingos, a program that has the participation of the National Zoo of Chile, and is led by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and by the ZCOG (Zoo Conservation Outreach Group), with the aim of “ensuring sustainable populations of Andean, Chilean and Puna (or James) flamingos throughout their geographic range in South America”.
The three-year project includes three main axes: a) monitoring via GPS of the migratory movement of flamingos, b) analyzing and mapping information on their movement and use of their habitats, c) involving the inhabitants of the territory in their protection. This implies carrying out environmental education workshops and training instances with the civil, public and private spheres of San Pedro de Atacama.
During 2021 this collaborative work materialized in:
Development of a didactic guide to Chilean flamingos, which will be launched in 2022.
Design of environmental education activities for boys, girls, youth and adults.
Participation in the 1st scientific campaign, installation of 7 satellite transmitters to monitor their migratory movements.
Execution of the first certified training sessions on high Andean flamingos for local tour operators.