Hundreds of flamingos hatch in Algarve – a first for Portugal

Hundreds of flamingos have hatched in the Algarve “for the first time in Portugal” – and it may be thanks to the pandemic.

Explain conservationists, the ‘reduction in human pressure’ on wetland areas around Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António may have been all that the birds needed.

Around 800 flamingos (Latin name: Phoenicopterus roseus) reside in this eastern corner of the Algarve, but this year they have been joined by ‘a great deal more’.

The drought in Spain could have something to do with it. Those who understand these birds seem more inclined to believe the pandemic has been the overriding reason: the marshlands have simply been less visited by people.

As a result, the flamingos started nesting in May (click here)

Nature and forestry guards held their breaths (the same had happened in the 1980s and in 2010, with no results). But this time has been different: hundreds of little grey shapes started appearing last month, almost camouflaged by the mudflats on which they had hatched, but definitely fledgling flamingos.

Now focus is on ensuring they develop and thrive.

Visitors to the area are asked to take great care where they walk as flamingos nest on the ground, and a careless step could destroy a promising development in the Algarve’s natural history.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com