Flamingos are breeding at Torrevieja salt lagoon on the Costa Blanca for the first time since their activities began being monitored.
ALTHOUGH the distinctive water birds can be seen all year round in the wetlands south of Alicante, successful reproduction has only been recorded on a few occasions: in Santa Pola in 1973, 1975 and 2002, and in El Hond in 1997 and 1998.
About 1,000 pairs of flamingos have found in the central area of the salt lake in Torrevieja and it is estimated there are now 600 chicks – a sight never seen in this location before.
The breeding colony is located in a very remote area, so an exact figure won’t be known until the chicks leave the site and the nests can be counted.
Early May, staff from the Ministry of the Environment and from the Salinas noted the construction of flamingo nests in the central area that divides the salt mines.
A discreet surveillance plan was established over the incipient colony, so they would have the necessary tranquillity to breed.
Flamingos seemingly have very precise requirements for reproduction, among which are a minimum number of specimens forming part of the colony, the need for absolute tranquillity and the maintenance of water levels.
The recurrent torrential rains in recent months have caused a significant increase in water levels, and the halting of salt mining activities due to the State of Alarm have helped.
In addition, the natural park has enjoyed quiet conditions thanks to the absence of environmental noise caused by regular traffic and the frequent flight of planes and light aircraft over the area.
An unusual concentration of flamingos was observed in both Torrevieja lagoons prior to lockdown, and the numbers have continued to gradually increase during the months of the confinement.