Drone Photography Raises Concerns for Sri Lanka’s Flamingo Flock
With reddish-pink, brushstroke-like smudges on its wings, legs and large downward-curved beak, the greater flamingo is a stunning bird to watch, particularly in flight as part of a large flock.
One such flock, numbering about 5,000 greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus), stopped over at the Mannar wetland, a Ramsar site, in northern Sri Lanka this past January. The annual visitors drew large crowds, many of them armed with professional-grade cameras and lenses to match, and others toting smartphones while trying to get up close to the birds.
Then there were those, a small but growing group, that brought drones. Flying them right above the flamingo flock in search of picturesque aerial shots, they included both professional and hobbyist photographers. To environmentalists, however, this emerging trend could pose a serious threat to the flamingos in particular, and to wildlife in general.
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