Greater Flamingos Return to Abu Dhabi Wetlands and Hopefully to Bu Tinah

Greater flamingos and chicks found in Abu Dhabi once again.

Abu Dhabi’s remaining wetlands and its well publicized Bu Tinah archipelago have been mentioned a number of times by Green Prophet; especially with it being nominated for designation as one of  the earth’s Seven World Wonders. But now this natural wonder, along with other designated wetlands such as Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, may once again become home to increasing numbers of beautiful Greater Flamingos that are attracted to these areas as nesting sites.The large pink birds, the largest of  their species, are now returning to these locations in the Arabian Gulf after an absence of ten years, according to an article in Abu Dhabi’s The National. Greater flamingos, characterized by their gracefulness, their height of up to 150 cm. and unique call are well-recognized for standing on one foot while resting.

The protected breeding area of Al Wathba now has more than 1,900 flamingos; recently, as many as 90 chicks were counted by scientists from the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi. The National also reported that the flamingos are known to breed in Shahama and Bul Shayeef,  though these areas are now under threat of development by real estate companies. Unless the Abu Dhabi government  steps in to protect them, the future of these birds, along with other wildlife, could be in jeopardy.

Much of the Gulf region has been under pressure by developers, and this has also caused problems for marine wildlife, including one of the world’s largest concentrations of dugongs – a large herbivorous marine mammal that feeds off of underwater vegetation such as sea grass.

Dugongs are also present in area

The future of all these animals will greatly depend of efforts made by environmentalists to protect them, as well as by restrictions on construction projects, which have caused considerable environmental damage to areas near both Abu Dhabi and neighboring Dubai. Neither increasing salinity of the sea water nor higher water temperatures bode well for area wildlife, including the flamingos, who often to fly considerable distances in search of food.

:: The National / EAD

Read more on issues affecting Abu Dhabi area wildlife:

Sea Turtles and Other Marine Life Living Happily on Persian Gulf Archipelago

Persian Gulf “Mermaids” Face  Man Made Environmental Threats

Dubai Marine Life at Risk After Devastating Shark Catch

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