Flamingos face mining threat

2009-08-27 14:42

Arusha - Flamingos in Tanzania's Lake Natron will face a major threat if Tanzania starts mining soda ash from the lake, a wildlife group said.

Three-quarters of the world's population of Lesser Flamingo live and breed in East Africa. Many depend on Tanzania's Lake Natron as a breeding site, the group BirdLife International said on Wednesday.

Tanzania's Environment Minister, Batilda Buriani, said the country was still awaiting an environmental assessment before making a final decision.

"We want to do it in a such way that the flamingos and animals are not affected," he said.

Lesser Flamingo stand between 1.2m and 1.5m high, but are the smallest of the six flamingo species.

There are thought to be between 2.2 million and 3.25 million Lesser Flamingos in the world, of which between 1.5 million and 2.5 million are found in East Africa.