Schlegel ML, Ray A, Tibbot J. 2015. Evaluating the nutrition of a flock of non-breeding greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. In Bissell H, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Portland, OR.
A flock of 150 greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park were moved to a new enclosure in 2010 to provide them a larger exhibit and to promote the breeding of lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) that shared the previous exhibit. Since the greater flamingos moved, they have not laid eggs through June 2015. A nutrition review of the greater flamingos was conducted in 2014 and 2015 and included an evaluation of the nutrient composition of the diet, diet disappearance studies, body weight monitoring, and review of blood minerals and vitamins. The greater flamingos received a fine-grounded custom-manufactured diet that has been fed for more than 15 yr without changes in nutrient specifications. The diet was lower in vitamin A and E than desired and higher in Se than needed. The two diet disappearance studies suggested that an adequate amount of food was disappearing to meet the birds’ energy needs. The greater flamingos had lost an average 13.8% of their body weight between 2010 and 2014 and continued to lose weight in 2015. The serum minerals and vitamins were within reference values except, whole blood selenium was greater. This nutrition review suggested that the current dietary concentrations of vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium should be evaluated.46_Schlegel.pdf     84 KB