Patronat de Turisme de la Diputació de TarragonaDiputació de Tarragona
Terres de l'Ebre 
© Mariano Cebolla Arxiu PNDE
© Mariano Cebolla Arxiu PNDE

EbroDelta

The colony of flamingos at the Ebro Delta Nature Park is recovering after four years of poor reproduction

More than 2,700 pairs have been detected in Trinitat salt pans, the third highest on record since this species settled at the delta in 1992

This year 2,711 pairs of flamingos are reproducing in the Trinitat salt pans in Sant Carles de la Ràpita (Montsià), which is right in the middle of the Ebro Delta Nature Park. This number corresponds to the third highest on record since this species settled at the delta in 1992.

The reproduction period started this April, when adult specimens made one of the dykes at the salt pans their habitat. On 5th May, Nature Park technicians carried out aerial photography from a great height over the colony. This method permitted the evaluation of the reproductive group. If reproduction develops without problems – arising from land predators infiltrating, adverse weather conditions, low flying aircraft… - it is predicted that the chicks will be successfully ringed (programmed for 15 and 16 July).

The flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) can be found at the delta all through the year, although amounts fluctuate dramatically depending on the season, with the highest numbers present in winter. Some reports indicate that this bird reproduced in abundance in the sixteenth century, although there are no other figures until 1970-80 when some attempts were made. The flamingo began to reproduce successfully in 1993 and has now become one of the most emblematic species at the Ebro Delta Nature Park, the only place in Catalonia where it reproduces, and one of the few stable places in the western Mediterranean.

Until 2016, this bird had reproduced successfully on 21 occasions and the number of pairs ranged every other year between 250 and 3,139. 3,170 specimens were ringed at the Ebro delta (up to August 2016), and they have been sighted in a total of 14 countries, although 86.7% of these observations were in France (36%), Spain (21%) and Italy (19%). However, there have been observations in places mush further afield like Mauritania, Senegal, Montenegro and Turkey.