to Oz - W.W.T join forces with the Auckland Zoo to incubate
and rear Flamingos
year saw the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (W.W.T.)
join forces with the Auckland Zoo in Australia
in order to attempt to artificially incubate and
then rear Flamingos.
The importance of successful artificial incubation
in the case of Greater Flamingos can’t be
underestimated as natural breeding success is
usually limited by egg loss from nest sites in
the breeding colony – pairs compete
for nest sites, often leading to eggs being ‘kicked
in 2000, this natural egg loss was reduced by replacing
the real eggs with resin dummies. The real eggs were
then artificially incubated in Brinsea Polyhatch incubators
for 26 days of the 28 day
At the pre-pip stage, eggs were returned to their natural
or surrogate parents for hatching and rearing. The result
was that in 2000, a total of 27 chicks were reared at
W.W.T. Slimbridge, representing an increase in
productivity of 170%!
With the huge success of the operation in 2000, for
this year the W.W.T. plan to artificially incubate and
hatch at least 20 eggs of Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus
ruber roseus) for the subsequent hand-rearing
of the chicks.
When hatched the chicks will be housed in W.W.T’.s
quarantine facilities until the time when the youngest
bird is weaned at 60 days old. The crèche will
then be flown to Auckland Zoo in New Zealand where they
will be housed in a brand new conservation exhibit.
Once in New Zealand, these birds will be celebrated
as the only flamingo flock in the whole of Australasia.
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