The Art of Constructing Breeding Sites

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: The Art of Constructing Breeding Sites
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 09:53:58 +1000
What species would benefit the most from artificial breeding sites [like the following example] in Australia?

Lesser flamingos breed on artificial island

    January 15 2008 at 08:00AM
Johannesburg - Lesser flamingos have started breeding on an artificial island at the Kamfers Dam, the Northern Cape Department of Tourism, Environment & Conservation said on Monday.

A departmental ornithologist, Mark Anderson, said the breeding flamingoes at Kamfers Dam were of historic significance because it was only the sixth breeding locality for the near-threatened lesser flamingo in the world.

The construction of the flamingo island at Kamfers Dam, a large, permanent wetland area north of Kimberley, was proposed by Anderson and he has been responsible for managing this project.

More than 500 young flamingos have hatched with thousands more still to hatch, said Anderson.

This was the first time that lesser flamingos had successfully bred in South Africa and the first time that they had bred on an artificial island.

Lesser flamingos breed at Etosha Pan (Namibia), Sua Pan (Botswana) and Lake Natron (Tanzania), as well as at the Zinzuwadia and Purabcheria salt pans in north-western India, and now at the Kamfers Dam.

Lesser flamingos do not breed annually at the five other sites in Africa and India, mainly because these are only irregularly inundated during periods of good rainfall. They only breed infrequently at some sites, such as at the Etosha Pan in Namibia.

The lesser flamingo was classified as "Near Threatened" in the 2006 World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species, said Anderson.

The island is 250m x 25m and is s-shaped. The island, the third of its type in the world, was built by Ekapa Mining.

A submersed pump, powered by three solar panels, provides water for four ponds on the island, and ensures wet clay that the flamingos use to construct their nest turrets. - Sapa

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