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Migration of flamingoes

The flamingoes at Lake Nakuru National Park have migrated due to reduced alkalinity in the lake.

The birds are however likely to return to their renown abode, and color the water pink once the floods recede.

A senior research scientist at the lake Joseph Adebe said the recent migration should not cause any alarm since a majority of the flamingoes were still within the borders as some moved to the Tsavo National Park and others have settled at the mouth of the Indian Ocean.

Interviewed by KNA at the park, he said the natural habitat for the birds was Nakuru, Bogoria and Elementaita Lakes. However, the flooding of the Lakes diluted alkalinity, which enables the growth of alga that the birds feed on.

Adebe said the popular theory that the flooding of the lakes was caused by some seismic movement underground has been dismissed because of the prolonged drought, that followed the torrential rains of the year 2019-2020 has naturally receded the water, and soon the lakes will return to their natural status.

He noted that at the beginning of the year, Lake Nakuru had 6,000 flamingoes. About 4,000 of them moved to Lake Elmentatita and currently, they have about 700 flamingoes.

However, he emphasized that they would return before the end of the year since the areas they have migrated to were not as suitable as the alkaline-rich Rift Valley lakes, which have the blue algae that they preferred to feed on.

Flamingos at Lake Nakuru National Park

In addition, he said the birds have always moved across the three lakes depending on the seasons and some ended up at Lake Natron in Tanzania where they breed. 

But Edebe said climate change was a real threat not just for human survival, but also for the birds and other animals, hence the need to conserve it for posterity.

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