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American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


Four disjunct populations:

  • Galapagos Islands - 50 saline lagoons on Isabela, Santa Cruz, Floreana, Bainbridge, and Rabida Islands. Most breeding occurs on southern Isabela Island.
  • Southern Caribbean - Guajira Peninsula of Colombia, N coast of Venezuela, Bonaire, and nearby islands. A small number can be found farther east along the N coast of South America to French Guiana.
  • Yucatan Peninsula - N coast, from Campeche to Cabo Catoche, with rare sightings at Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, and on Cozumel Island. Celestun Lagoon and Ria Lagartos Lagoon appear to be the most important localities, containing up to 75% of the population at a given time.
  • Northern Caribbean - Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, and southern Florida (probably escaped captives).

Only four main breeding sites:

  • Great Inagua, Bahamas
  • Archipelago de Camaguey, Cuba
  • Rio Lagartos, Yucatan, Mexico
  • Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

Smaller numbers breed in other areas within their overall range.

Historical distribution


  • Saline lagoons, mud flats, shallow lakes - coastal or inland. Prefers saline to fresh water.
  • Can tolerate twice the salinity of sea water and alkalinity up to pH 10.5.
  • Adapt to shifting food availability
    • Shift habitat if disturbed (ex. severe weather)
    • Find better breeding sites

Distribution Map

distribution map of American Flamingo

American Flamingo distribution.

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

Baldassarre & Arengo (2000)
Brueker & Vargas (1998)
del Hoyo et al. (1992)
Elphick, et al. (2001)
Sprunt (1973)
Whitfield et al. (2018)

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