Flamingos are sensitive to their surroundings and an aircraft frightened a flock of the birds in Camargue. This is a wetlands region in southern France and home to these birds. The aircraft was scouting for locations to shoot a film on wildlife to be directed by Nicolas Vanier, the filmmaker. However, the colony of nearly 500 flamingos left their eggs and flew away because of the aircraft. Each bird lays one egg and they never return once they leave the area. This means there will be that many fewer birds in future.

New Zealand Herald reports that their population is already on the decline.

This act on the part of the filmmaker has not gone down well with conservationists. France Nature Environnement is one of them and it is taking legal steps. It has lodged a complaint with public prosecutors for intentional disturbance of an endangered species.

A threat to the flamingos

According to Olivier Gourbinot, an official of France Nature Environnement, the total population of flamingos in France is hardly 4500 pairs and the appearance of the aircraft disturbed nearly 500 of them and they abandoned their eggs. There were two planes involved and eyewitnesses have reported seeing one of them flying over the flamingos at low altitude.

It was a project of filmmaker Nicolas Vanier. He has blamed the pilot for the incident because he had been instructed to avoid the protected nesting areas of the pink flamingos.

The film production company is Radar Films, and the conservationists plan to press charges against either the filmmaker or the producer. Incidentally, “Wolf “and “The Last Trapper” are some of Vanier’s films and he is now making “Give Me Wings” about wild geese. In view of the complications, he has scrapped France and is moving to Norway to complete his project.

Preserve endangered species like flamingos

Bird Guides adds it is necessary to save the flamingos in France. The existing colony at Grau-du-Roi, Gard Department, is the only breeding site for them in the country. They used to breed in the Camargue, but have shifted after the arrival of the Eurasian Eagle-Owls that prey on flamingos.

These birds are included in the Near Threatened Red List of breeding birds in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

France Nature Environment (FNE), has lodged a complaint against Nicholas Vanier. His team apparently tried to film the flamingos in full flight and chose the most sensitive time of their breeding season. The film crew flew over the colony several times and frightened the birds away.