Florida’s flamingos make a comeback despite pollution caused by agriculture runoff

Florida’s flamingos make a comeback despite pollution caused by agriculture runoff

Animal agriculture has harmed the environment, contributed to climate change, and resulted in the unnecessary suffering of many animals.

It has caused extensive harm, including the extinction of Florida’s flamingo populations.

Florida was previously home to vast flocks of American flamingos that bred in the Everglades, Biscayne Bay, and the Florida Keys.

However, as a result of animal agriculture and overharvesting in the state, their populations gradually declined until they were extinct.

Flamingos in Florida ate crustaceans found in the wetlands. When agricultural runoff from crops and farms fouled the water with nitrogen and phosphorus, algal blooms erupted in the wetlands, killing off many of the crustaceans on which the flamingos depended for sustenance.

Since then, Florida has spent an estimated $2 billion on maintenance and restoration projects, according to National Geographic. In addition, the state has also introduced mandates to prevent farms from creating agricultural runoff.

As a result of the changes Florida has made to protect and improve the conditions of its wetlands, the state is seeing a return of flamingos! A 2021 report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission confirmed Florida may be seeing flamingos in the Everglades and wetlands once again.

The report stated: “Florida’s small population occurs on public conservation lands and exhibits a stable or increasing population trend in recent years. The return of this iconic species to the Everglades, Biscayne Bay, and the Florida Keys certainly is worthy of celebration and encouragement.”

The increase in flamingo populations has even prompted the FWG to team up with the University of Central Florida to create regular Facebook alerts on sightings of the birds in the state. Those who spot a wild flamingo in Florida are encouraged to share the news with the Florida Flamingos Working Group on Facebook.

The news of flamingos returning is a positive reminder that it’s not too late to make a difference and reverse some of the damages we’ve caused as humans.

Sign this petition to demand an end to animal agriculture.

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This article by Malorie Thompson was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 11 February 2022. Lead Image Source : Stubblefield Photography / Shutterstock.

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