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  • Context (IE): Around 39 flamingos were found dead in different locations of Ghatkopar East after they collided with an Emirates aircraft landing at the Mumbai airport.

Flamingos death after hitting plane near airport - PMF IAS

Credit: TOI

  • Flamingos are large shore birds with S-like long necks, sticklike legs.
  • There are 6 species of flamingos in the World:
    1. Greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
    2. Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
    3. American flamingo or Caribbean (Phoenicopterus ruber)
    4. Lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)
    5. Andean flamingo (Phoenicoparrus andinus)
    6. James’s flamingo or Puna Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi).
  • Distribution: They are found in tropical and subtropical areas. In India, 2 species of flamingos are found – Greater and Lesser Flamingo.

Global distribution of Flamingos - PMF IAS

Credit: My nature stories

  • Habitat: Shallow eutrophic waterbodies such as saline lagoons, saltpans and saline or alkaline lakes. Flamingos are a social species, choosing to live in flocks of hundreds or even thousands of individuals.
  • Their colour can vary from white to pink to orange, depending on their diet. The amount of pigment in their food determines the shade of their plumage.
  • Diet: Algae, molluscs, and crustaceans.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

  • Greater flamingo is the most widespread and the largest flamingo species.
  • Distribution: It is found in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and southern Europe. It is found almost all over India (except the high-altitude Himalayas, East and NE India).
  • Habitat: They are found in both brackish and fresh water wetlands.
  • Conservation Status: IUCN: Least Concern | CITES: Appendix II.
  • It is the state bird of Gujarat.

Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)

  • Lesser Flamingos are the smallest species of flamingo.
  • Distribution: They are restricted largely to western India’s brackish water places like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Mumbai.
  • Habitat: They prefer brackish and coastal waters.
  • Conservation Status: IUCN: Near Threatened | CITES: Appendix II.
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