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CFE buoys to protect flamingos from deadly electric shocks

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In response to recent reports of flamingos being electrocuted in El Cuyo, the CFE installed buoys over cables in this area of Yucatán. 

This measure seeks to make the medium-voltage cables visible to the birds and prevent them from landing or making contact with them. 

Flamingos are common and abundant throughout the Peninsula. They are one of the most popular birds with tourists and bird watchers. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

In total, 35 buoys were installed by the Federal Electricity Commission alongside 9 triple-trigger blades, the replacement of 35 fuse cutters, as well as 25 lightning arresters, and a load balancing to improve the voltage. 17 electricians and 4 engineers participated in this work.

At the beginning of the breeding season, the Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve counted about 15,000 pink flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) nests and an established adult population of approximately 30,000 individuals.

Flamingo migration starts in the early months of the year. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The pink flamingos travel almost 300 kilometers from their winter sites and areas of concentration in Celestún and Los Petenes to the breeding areas in Río Lagartos. Since January, Conanp personnel has observed flocks of about a thousand of them in Punta Manolo, located east of El Cuyo, in the municipality of Tizimín.

Mangroves are the flamingo’s natural environment and are also essential for the ecological balance of the state. They are in constant danger due to contamination, residential development, and tourism. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

This species is classified as “threatened” in the Official Mexican Standard 059. Climate change and the destruction of their habitat are the main culprits in the diminishing of their population.

In Yucatán Magazine: Shorebirds in the Yucatán: endangered travelers

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