Together with bulls and horses, Greater Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus roseus) are part of the symbolic figures of the Camargue scenery. The Tour du Valat carries out a program to study this species.
The Greater Flamingo is listed in the Bird Directive 79/409/EEC, applicable since April 2nd, 1979; and is therefore protected in 25 countries of the European Union.
About 100 000 Greater Flamingoes have been counted in the western area of the Mediterranean. The Tour du Valat has run a ringing program since 1977, in order to monitor this population. Nowadays, a “Greater flamingo network” is set up between countries along the Mediterranean to gather data concerning the flamingo census, ringing, and ring reading (around 25.000 per year), and therefore enabling the study of the breeding area at the scale of the Mediterranean.
Since the 90’s, the Tour du Valat has organised Flamingo sponsorship along with its Italian and Catalan partners. Collected funds are used to buy observation material for the new network partners, which are often badly equipped.