Post-mortem examination and sampling of African flamingos (Phoenicopteridae) under field conditions

  • John E Cooper
  • Amy E Deacon
  • Thomas Nyariki


Recent largely unexplained deaths in African flamingos have prompted the need for standard, reproducible methods for the post-mortem examination of these birds, for the taking of samples and for the recording of findings. Here we describe suitable techniques and present three distinct protocols for field-based post-mortem examination of flamingos that can be employed flexibly, depending on the circumstances, by veterinarians and non-professionals alike. The adoption of these protocols is strongly recommended to improve standardisation of data and sample collection, which will ultimately enhance our understanding of the causes of mortality in African flamingos.

Keywords: fieldwork, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, mass mortalities, protocols, Rift Valley Lakes

OSTRICH 2014, 85(1): 75–83

Author Biographies

John E Cooper
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kabete, Kenya; current address: Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Amy E Deacon
Centre for Biological Diversity, University of St Andrews, Fife, UK
Thomas Nyariki
African Union–Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources, Nairobi, Kenya

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525