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East Africa’s ‘soda lakes’ are rising, threatening their iconic flamingos

By Aidan Byrne, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, King's College London
Huge pink flocks of millions of flamingos – flamboyances of flamingos – are one of nature’s great spectacles. But colleagues and I have uncovered worrying trends in the salty and highly-alkaline “soda lakes” of east Africa where most of these birds live.

Lesser flamingos are the most numerous of the six species of flamingo found across the world, and more than three quarters are found in the soda lakes of Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Despite their numbers, with estimates ranging between 2 million and 3 million birds, the species is in decline and officially classified as “

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