Tourism Believed to be Chasing Flamingos Away from Yucatán Nature Reserve

“Irresponsible” tourism is believed to be a major factor in the decline of flamingo numbers in nesting grounds in north Yucatán, reports Mexico News Daily.

There are currently about 1,000 to 2,000 flamingos at Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, located on the northern coast of the Yucatán peninsula, a shocking drop compared to 30,000 at the same time last year, said local experts. One local biologist said one significant factor contributing to lower flamingo numbers was tour guides taking tourists too close to the birds and disrupting their ecosystem as flamingos feel threatened and choose to leave to quieter places.

Other factors mentioned include increased numbers of wild dogs and cats near the reserve, the illegal capture of the birds for trafficking purposes, climate change and tidal conditions, among other factors.

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