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Injured Flamingos in Greece Saved by Wildlife Scouts

Saving a flamingo in a Lesvos wetland
Scouts rescuing flamingos tangled in fishing line in the wetlands of Lesvos island, Greece. Credit: AMNA

A group of scouts rescued two flamingos tangled in fishing line in the wetlands of Lesvos island, Greece, and provided the necessary first aid care.

Responding to a citizen’s call about flamingos in danger, the two scouts of the Wildlife Rescue Scout Group (PODAZ) marked the best celebration of World Wetlands Day on February 2nd by rushing to the wetlands and saving the lives of the two wild birds on the same day.

The rescuers were from the 5th Marine Scout System of Mithymna, Lesvos.

While one flamingo sustained no injuries and was released after being untangled, the second was injured by fishing hooks and had to be transported to the scouts’ quarters in Molyvos. There, it received essential first aid care, along with provisions of food and water.

After talking with members of the “ANIMA” Wildlife Protection and Care Association, it was deemed necessary to transport the flamingo to Athens for the necessary medical treatment.

On Saturday the scouts put the bird in a special container and transferred it to the Mytilini Port where they put it on the ship to Piraeus. ANIMA volunteers received the flamingo from Piraeus and took it for medical treatment.

Lesvos has 63 Wetlands

The wetlands are crucial for many species of birds that breed in them as they are a valuable source of water and food. The scrubland, the rocky slopes and are a magnet for  visiting birds and nature watchers.

Lesvos is the island with the most wetlands in Greece, 63 in total. Most of them are found in the perimeter of the Kalloni and Gera Gulfs.

The Kalloni Gulf is protected area (SAC and SPA) and has 25 wetlands, most of them coastal. The one in the Polichnitos area is formed by winter rainfall and dries up completely in the summer period.

In winter time, greater flamingos, teals, herons, coots, little grebes, white wagtails, and other species that forage or roost in such wetlands in winter can be found there. In the Spring, it is one of the very first places to see migrants such as waders, wagtails, and hirundines.

In the Polichnitos salt pans overwintering bird species such as avocets, flamingos, shelducks, black storks, etc are recorded. It is also a place where shorebirds abound year- round.

The Alykoudi marsh, also in the Polichnitos area, is full of waders and other wetland birds during their spring passage and an important breeding area for the pied avocet, kentish plover, and the black-winged stilt.

In the Agia Paraskevi area, the Messa wetland is formed by several different types of wetlands such as a lagoon, two torrents, salt and fresh water marshes, and the coastal zone.

In winter, the usual overwintering bird species are recorded here: Greater flamingos, ruddy shelducks, wigeon, dalmatian pelicans, herons, cormorants, little grebes etc.


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