Selected sites of Gujarat State, India, were surveyed for the flamingo count, from 11 to 26 January 2003. A total of 28,333 Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) and 369,901 Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) were counted, which is the highest number recorded from India. Highest concentrations of flamingos were recorded in the Gulf of Khambhat (305,664), followed by other coastal sites of Gujarat state (50,317) and the Gulf of Kachchh (42,137). Greater Flamingos were equally distributed on Gulf of Khambhat (29%), Gulf of Kachchh (38%) and other coastal sites (32%). Lesser Flamingos were concentrated in the Gulf of Khambhat (80%). 99.6% of the Greater Flamingos were found in wetlands near the coast, with only 0.4% on inland freshwater wetlands. The Lesser Flamingos were exclusively found on the coastal wetlands. In coastal wetlands, both species showed clear habitat preference: 82% of Greater Flamingos were distributed in saltpans and 77% of Lesser Flamingos were on coastal mudflats.
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Vol. 27 • No. 2