This discussion was first published on Dec 9 2010 as part of the 2011 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Andean Flamingo Phoenicoparrus andinus is currently listed as Vulnerable under the A criterion, and Puna Flamingo P. jamesi and Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis are listed as Near Threatened under the A criterion. P. andinus was suspected to be declining at a rate of 30-49% over 10 years. P. jamesi was suspected to have declined by 20-29% over the past 48 years (three generations), while P. chilensis was suspected to be declining at a rate of 20-29% over 10 years. These negative trends were suspected on the basis of past declines and ongoing threats, primarily egg-harvesting, hunting, disturbance and habitat degradation.
The results of surveys carried out for the International Simultaneous Census and Simultaneous Census of Network Sites in 2010 and six previous years since 1997 suggest that the population trends of these species are in fact stable or increasing (Marconi et al. in press). Variation between years in the total numbers recorded can be at least partly attributed to variation in site inclusion and the timing of surveys. For P. andinus the results indicate a stable population trend during the last 13 years, while the trend for P. jamesi is less clear, but is probably at least stable, with a sustained increase at one site. Surveys for P. chilensis in 2010 recorded c.283,000 birds, strongly suggesting that the current global estimate of 200,000 mature individuals should be revised upwards; however, the revised estimate for the number of mature individuals will likely be lower than the new estimate of 300,000 individuals put forward by Marconi et al. (in press). Although the surveys have not covered the entire distribution of P. chilensis, they provide no evidence of the suspected decline (Marconi et al. in press). It is therefore proposed that all three species be downlisted to Least Concern on the basis that none of them approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria and may not have done for the last 10-12 years.
Comments on these proposed category changes would be welcomed and a request is made for any additional information. Any re-estimations of the population trends for these species should be done so for a period of three generations. For P. andinus this is estimated at 47 years and for P. chilensis it is estimated at 46 years.
Marconi, P., Sureda, A. L., Arengo, F., Aguilar, M. S., Amado, N., Alza, L., Rocha, O., Torres, R., Moschione, F., Romano, M., Sosa, H. and Derlindati, E. (in press) 4th Simultaneous Flamingo Census in South America: Preliminary Results. Flamingo18.