Local March 4, 2024 | 9:28 am

44 flamingos released from the Rescate Rosado project

Montecristi, DR.- The Rescate Rosado project, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MMARN), Manuel Valverde Podesta National Zoo, and Grupo Acción Ecológica, recently achieved a significant breakthrough in Caribbean flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) conservation. A total of 44 birds were successfully released, marking a crucial milestone in the ongoing conservation initiatives for this iconic species.

Federico Franco, the Vice Minister of Protected Areas and Biodiversity, emphasized the importance of this release in safeguarding the region’s biodiversity. He led a team of dedicated biologists and veterinarians who carefully mobilized the flamingos during the early hours of Friday to minimize stress due to daytime heat.

This release, the fourth under the Rescate Rosado project, took place in two strategic locations: the Baní Dunes and the Estero Balsa Mangrove National Park. Estero Balsa National Park is particularly vital, boasting documented nesting sites and acting as a strategic area for the species. The MMARN, in collaboration with civil society organizations and the Dominican Navy, reinforces surveillance in this area to ensure the protection of the flamingos and their habitats.

Key figures involved in the project include nature photographer Juan Guzmán, Northern Regional Coordinator of Protected Areas, biologist Marina Hernández, director of biodiversity of the DR, and veterinarian Indira Sánchez, who oversees the project. The release also involved the dedicated teams from the Zoo, administrators of the protected areas of Montecristi, and park ranger teams committed to the birds’ successful adaptation.

Previous releases were carried out in the Baní Salt Flats, demonstrating the project’s commitment to varied sites crucial for the species’ readaptation and introduction to Caribbean habitats. Franco applauded the empowerment of participants in the Rescate Rosado project, emphasizing ongoing dialogues to find solutions benefiting flamingo populations and acknowledging the tireless efforts of biologists, veterinarians, and technicians preserving their breeding and feeding spaces.

Franco stressed the need for collective solidarity to counteract the human abuse of natural resources, urging everyone to play a vital role in conservation efforts. He expressed gratitude to the institutions supporting the initiative and emphasized the collective responsibility required for this noble cause.

The Rescate Rosado project emerged in response to the critical status of the Caribbean flamingo, threatened by illicit trade and habitat degradation. This collaborative initiative aims to protect and preserve the species and its environment, with the Manuel Valverde Podesta National Zoo playing a pivotal role in rehabilitating rescued flamingos.

One of the project’s core strategies involves raising awareness and active participation from hotels, committing to not keeping wildlife in captivity. Hotels also collaborate in awareness campaigns and take responsibility for quarantining flamingos used in their facilities.

The Caribbean flamingo, residing in brackish water wetlands, marshes, and estuaries, is crucial for maintaining ecosystem balance. The ongoing conservation efforts are essential for ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.

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