My first sight of this incredible lagoon which is tinted red from the sediments and algae! The white is the mineral Borax (Sodium tetraborate decahydrate), which unfortunately is widely used by humans, and therefore is extracted from many of these lagoons, poisoning the flamingos as well as disturbing them during their breeding season and thus affect their reproductive ability on two fronts.

If the Borax is left undisturbed it will not pose any problem for the flamingos, but when it’s released and mixed with their food, only small amounts will poison them – affecting the skeleton, cardiovascular system and the testis. Humans are only affected at much higher levels, and thus the Borax extraction is increasing and threatening more and more lagoons from drainage in order to extract the mineral more effectively.

Altitude: 4432 metres.

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