Conservation 1: Flamingos

There are two kinds of flamingos on Lake Nakuru: the Greater and the Lesser Flamingo. The Greater Flamingo lives on shrimps, fish and similar things. It lives in Europe and India as well as Africa. However, the Lesser Flamingo lives on cyanobacteria which grow in many places (for example in rice fields), but in large quantities only in the alkaline lakes of the east African Rift Valley. These lakes may be threatened by climate change (global warming), but they are in any case challenged by human economic activity. Alkaline lakes have a high concentration of soda ash which is used in the manufacture of glass. Both Lake Natron in Tanzania, where the Indian conglomerate Tata is planning a soda ash plant, and Kampfers Dam in South Africa, where homes with associated pollution are planned, threaten the Lesser Flamingo.

Lake Nakuru is not used by the Lesser Flamingo to breed, but is used for food. If the population explosion in Kenya leads to the dimunition of Nakuru Lake, then the Lesser Flamingo may cease to exist. Although there are millions of them in a good year, they breed in only six places, and could become extinct suddenly.