XpBonaire IslandLife Feature Story
In 2018 around the same time we have informed and asked you for your help to aid our flamingos. This year Wild Bird Rehab needs your help again for the ever rising number of flamingo chicks that are unable to feed and survive by themselves.
In 2018 around 150 birds were brought to the rehab center “Wild Bird Rehab”, found wandering alone and clearly in bad condition. The Rehab needed to expand drastically to house and help this vast number of birds. In April 2019 , the rehab received already 25 chicks.
Why are there so many?
The reason the numbers seem to be skyrocketing is not known and only speculations can be made. Serious research is needed to find out if this is an incident or a serious problem that needs continuous attention and aid. Research about this phenomena will be carried out by the University Wageningen. People in the field of nature and protection suggest it could be:
The influx of the brown seaweed that lasted from December, 2017, until March, 2018, and in 2019 again was, and is, a serious threat to much of the wildlife on Bonaire, killing fish nurseries and food for the flamingos.
- Flamingo parents killed
Many adult flamingos will fly off to Venezuela to feed when food sources are scarce on the island. Since Venezuela’s people are in a serious crisis, many birds are shot to be eaten. When the parents do not come back, the young birds are left unattended.
- Flamingo rescue new to many
Publications about what to do and who to call have just recently become commonplace. As a result, the overall population is more aware and many now take action which could make the numbers seem to grow.
These are all speculations, but the people involved find the numbers alarming
What can we do?
When you drive, drive carefully!
When you find a flamingo, this is what has been advised by STINAPA:
When does a flamingo need to be rescued?
If the flamingo flies away when you approach, it does not need to be rescued.
If it does not fly away, or only flies a few feet away and looks exhausted, it most likely needs to be rescued, unless it is a very young flamingo in a safe place such as Cargill or Gotomeer. Young flamingos cannot find the right food in the mangroves or in Sorobon.
Number to call (if the first is unavailable, work down the list).
* FKK Contact: +599 7808020
* Dierenberscherming Contact: +599 7967000
* STINAPA Contact: +599 777-2018/787-0984
Info to be collected:
When you call, give the following info:
* Exact location of flamingo: approximate distances north/south of certain landmarks/dive sites.
* Color of bird – juvenile/adult?
* Time you first noticed the bird.
* Behavior of the bird.
* Other obvious problems (broken wing, exhausted, wrapped in line, etc.).
If possible, stay with the flamingo until help arrives, but do not approach, take pictures, make noise near the bird or talk to the bird.
No Volunteers needed
The Bonaire Wild Bird Rehab is grateful to have so many volunteers offering their time to care for the birds. Every day from early morning to late afternoon volunteers help feed and clean at the center. Since the birds recognize people, the Rehab tries to work with the same people as much as possible.
What will help the most are monetary donations to ensure the special chick feed and any future activities needed to assist the flamingos. You can do this at:
Bonaire Wild Bird Rehab
RBC Bank RBTTBQBN
Contact Bonaire Wild Rehab Facebook