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Puna Flamingo Phoenicoparrus jamesi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected that it will undergo a moderately rapid population decline over the next three generations owing primarily to habitat loss and degradation.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Phoenicopterus jamesi Collar et al. (1994), Phoenicopterus jamesi Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

90-92 cm. A small and delicate flamingo. Very pale pink. Bright carmine streaks around neck and on back. Pinker towards head. Only a small amount of black in wings is seen when perched. Bright red skin around eye. Bright yellow bill with only short drooping black. Red legs. Immature is greyish with narrow streaks on upperparts. Similar spp Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis is pinker, with a paler and longer bill. Andean Flamingo P. andinus is larger showing more black in wings and bill and has yellow legs. Voice Fluted rattles. 

Distribution and population
Phoenicoparrus jamesi occurs on the high Andean plateaus of Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, with small numbers occurring around the lowland Laguna Mar Chiquita, Argentina (Cobos et al. 1999). Key sites include Laguna Grande and Lagunas de Vilama in Argentina, Laguna Colorada in Bolivia, and Salar de Surire in Chile; in 2010 these four wetlands held 50% of the total population (Marconi et al. 2011). In particular Laguna Colorada, within Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve, has held up to 41,000 birds (with over 25,000 in the reserve in 2010), and has been a key site for recruitment (Rocha 1994, Flamingo CAP Questionnaire 1998, Caziani et al. 2007, Marconi et al. 2011). The population probably declined rapidly during the 20th century (Flamingo CAP Questionnaire 1998), but has started to increase (O. Rocha in litt. 2000), presumably owing to the success of conservation programmes, and a coordinated census in 2005 estimated the population to be 100,000 birds (unpublished information supplied by Wetlands International Specialist Groups to Wetlands International 2006). A total of 106,000 individuals counted in a coordinated census of similar coverage in 2010 suggests that the population may have stabilised (Marconi et al. 2011); however, breeding success varies greatly from year to year, with threats mostly impacting on productivity.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 106,000 individuals based on coordinated census in 2010 (Marconi et al. 2011).

Trend justification
Trends since the 1990s have been positive, indicating the start of a recovery, and census data suggest that the population may have stabilised (Marconi et al. 2011). Despite this, it is suspected that the population will undergo a moderately rapid decline over the next three generations owing mainly to habitat loss and degradation.

It is found mainly on saline lakes in the high Andean plateaus, where it feeds mainly on diatoms, but it is also a partial elevational migrant which moves to lower altitude lakes in the non-breeding season.

Levels of diatoms may be affected by climate change to the detriment of flamingo food resources. Egg-collecting and hunting were intensive during the 20th century (Johnson 1965, Hurlbert 1981), but have been controlled in protected areas. Mining activity and the associated demand for water, as well as tourism are further threats to some wetlands.

Conservation Actions Underway
The key protected area is Eduardo Avaroa National Faunal Reserve, Bolivia (O. Rocha in litt. 2000). International and national conservation programmes have been organised in all four countries (Flamingo CAP Questionnaire 1998) (O. Rocha in litt. 2000), and will hopefully continue to encourage population growth. CITES Appendix II. CMS Appendix I and II. Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue simultaneous surveys during breeding season to monitor population. Increase network of protected areas to include vital sites in Argentina (Caziani et al. 2007). Investigate feasibility of creating a trinational reserve integrating management of sites in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile to protect key breeding colonies and congregation sites (Caziani et al. 2007).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Caziani, S. M.; Olivio, O. R.; Ramírez, E. R.; Romano, M.; Derlindati, E. J.; Tálamo, A.; Ricalde, D.; Quiroga, C.; Contreras, J. P.; Valqui, M.; Sosa, H. 2007. Seasonal distribution, abundance and nesting of Puna, Andean and Chilean Flamingos. Condor 109(2): 276-287.

Cobos, V.; Miatello, R.; Baldo, J. 1999. Algunas especies de aves nuevas y otras con pocos registros para la provincia de Córdoba, Argentina. II. Nuestras Aves 39: 7-11.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Glade, A. A. 1988. Red list of Chilean terrestrial vertebrates: proceedings of the symposium "Conservation Status of Chilean Terrestrial Vertebrate Fauna". Impresiones Comerciales (for CONAF), Santiago.

Hurlbert, S. H. 1981. Results of three flamingo censuses conducted between December 1978 and July 1980. Department of Biology, San Diego State University, California, San Diego.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Johnson, A. W. 1965. The birds of Chile and adjacent regions of Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. Platt Establecimientos Gráficos, Buenos Aires.

Marconi, P., Sureda, A. L., Arengo, F., Aguilar, M. S., Amado, N., Alza, L., Rocha, O., Torres, R., Moschione, F., Romano, M., Sosa, H., Derlindati, E. 2011. Fourth simultaneous flamingo census in South America: preliminary results. Flamingo 18: 48-53.

Rocha O., O. 1994. Contribución preliminar a la conservación y el conocimiento de la ecología de flamencos en la Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina "Eduardo Avaroa", Departamento Potosí, Bolivia. Academia Nacional de Ciencas de Bolivia, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, La Paz.

Wetlands International. 2002. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, Netherlands.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Pilgrim, J., Stuart, T., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Arengo, F. & Rocha, O.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Phoenicoparrus jamesi. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Puna flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
Species name author Sclater, 1886
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 273,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species