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Inside Turkey’s Massive Flamingo Colony

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Lake Tuz, or Salt Lake, is the second largest lake in Turkey, located about 35 miles northwest of the city of Aksaray. It has been declared a protected area by UNESCO.

Aside from being known for its water naturally turning red due to algae, Lake Tuz is also known for its most prolific wildlife resident: flamingos. The lake “provides life to the largest flamingo colony in the Middle East and North Africa combined,” Vice reports. Each year, thousands of greater flamingo chicks emerge from their nests by the lake. The greater flamingo is the most common species in the flamingo family. They breed in groups and travel in numbers, as protection from predators.

Born grey, a flamingo’s pink coloration is the eventual result of its diet of fish and other organisms that feed on plankton and, in Lake Tuz’s case, “incredibly colored algae.

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