Huge flamingo colony on Ulcinj salt pans

Currently over 900 flamingos are on the Ulcinj salt pans.

© Borut Stumberger

“This year the Greater Flamingos are using the Ulcinj salt pans not just as a staging post but for breeding too. This is a great success story!” says EuroNatur’s project leader Romy Durst. There are currently over 900 of these fascinating birds on this Montenegrin lagoon that is now turned over to salt production. This is the first time that some of the birds have built nests here and begun to breed.

For many years now, smaller groups of flamingos have been appearing on the Ulcinj salt pans during the spring and autumn migrations. However, partly because of the constant threat from bird hunters, until now they had not bred there. So understandably, the current news is causing considerable jubilation. The cause is clear enough: this spring EuroNatur’s colleagues at CZIP carried out regular patrols around the Ulcinj salt pans together with international bird conservationists. “The continuous presence of the bird conservationists has really reduced poaching. This allowed the flamingos to form this large colony in peace and build their characteristic mud nests on the salt-rich silt.” says Romy Durst.

Yet there is still no guarantee that these large and elegant birds will be successful in breeding. In the next few days, the salt pans are due to be flooded in preparation for this year’s salt production. If the water level is too high, it will put the flamingos at risk. Representatives from EuroNatur and CZIP are currently in discussion with the management of the salt works, to secure protection for the colony and to see that appropriate management of water levels helps to ensure success for the flamingos’ breeding.

Read more about EuroNatur’s work to protect the Ulcinj salt marshes


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