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Sandri C, Vallarin V, Sammarini C, Regaiolli B, Piccirillo A, Spiezio C. (2017) How to be a great dad: Parental care in a flock of greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)PeerJ Preprints5:e2887v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2887v1
The zoo-science literature on flamingos, and avian species in general, is lacking. However, this kind of research is important to improve the knowledge on these species and to improve their ex-situ and in-situ conservation. The aims of the present study were to assess the welfare of a captive colony of greater flamingo hosted at Parco Natura Viva, an Italian zoological garden, through ethological parameters and to improve the knowledge on this species in zoological gardens. In particular, the present study investigated and compared the parental care of females and males in 35 breeding pairs of greater flamingos. For each pair, we collected data on the parental care behaviour of both females and males, recording their position in relation to the nest (near the nest, on the nest, away from the nest) and the behavioural category that was performed. The main results were that males spent more time than females on the nest and near it and were more aggressive toward other flamingos. Therefore, male flamingos seem to be more involved in incubation duties and nest protection than females. Greater flamingos of this study performed species-specific behaviours. Both parents were involved in parental care and displayed all the activities reported in the wild. Therefore, the study flock of greater flamingos seems to be in a good welfare. This kind of research is important not only to expand the knowledge on bird species such as flamingos, but also to improve their husbandry and breeding in controlled environment.
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