Flamingos Poisoned By Illegal Lead Pellets In Greek Lagoon
Faizan Hashmi 1 month ago Sat 06th March 2021 | 10:10 AM
Agios Mamas, Greece, March 6 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Mar, 2021 ) :On a country road that the locals have dubbed 'Flamingo Street' Stavros Kalpakis walks alongside the tall reeds of Agios Mamas, a small northern Greek lagoon, peering through binoculars.
The grizzled environmentalist puts on his waterproof waders and boots and steps into knee-deep water. When he returns moments later, he is holding a dead pink flamingo -- one of dozens found in the area in recent weeks, killed by lead poisoning.
Around 50 of the majestic pink birds are known to have died so far in the small lagoon in Greece's northern Halkidiki peninsula some 580 kilometres (360 miles) north of Athens, Kalpakis, head of the Action for Wildlife organisation, tells AFP.
Of nearly a dozen flamingos retrieved by the group for medical attention, none could be saved.
"Flamingos eat small pebbles to help with digestion, and they are eating the shrapnel from bullets.
.. it's giving them lead poisoning," says Ellie Bridgeman, a 20-year-old volunteer working with the group.
"We ran tests for avian flu and the West Nile virus and they all came back negative," Prousali said.
"All the birds that had these symptoms were found to have pellets in their stomachs," she said, adding that there were likely other dead birds hidden in the lush vegetation that have not been recovered.
Agios Mamas is one of Europe's Natura 2000 wildlife diversity regions, and is home to nearly 60 different bird species.
Even more importantly, flamingos were recorded breeding here last year, the first time this has ever happened in Greece.