The Caribbean Flamingos are often considered the most iconic species living on certain Caribbean islands. They were once native to many different islands and mainland of the states. My curiosity led me to witness, research and present the exquisite and alluring story of the British Virgin Island’s Flamingos. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”-Melvin Rutledge Journeying to the BVI’s past, Flamingos were abundant throughout the islands. The flamboyance or flock was known to inhabit the salt ponds in large numbers, possibly by the tens of thousands. One of the ponds here even bears the name of the bird – Flamingo Pond. “Three’s Company”-Melvin Rutledge “Who’s The Boss”-Melvin Rutledge “On Golden Pond”-Melvin Rutledge Unfortunately, they were hunted to extinction over 60 years ago as a food source and for their plumage to serve on women’s headwear. “…She is pure Alice in Wonderland, and her appearance and demeanor are a nicely judged mix of the Red Queen and a flamingo…” Even John James Audubon insisted that birds were so plentiful in the Americas that no depredation—whether hunting, the encroachment of cities and farmlands, or any other act of man—could extinguish a species. How wrong we all can be… “Reflection of Her Plumage”-Melvin Rutledge Reintroduction was needed to reinstate an environmental part of the BVI, restore the salt ponds’ ecosystem, and as a bonus, provide a pleasant attraction for all to see. Early in the 1980’s with the help of the Conservation Agency President, Dr. James Lazell, the restoration efforts began. With local and international companies, and notable names such as The Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo, Richard Winchell, Mocata Corporation, Dr. Henry Jarecki, the BVI National Parks Trust, and Nick Clark a small group of flamingos from the Bermuda Zoo were transported to a newly established wildlife sanctuary on Guana Island. In addition, the establishment of flamingo breeding continued in 1992 to the island of Anegada and in following years to the main island of Tortola. Recently, flamingos were also introduced on Necker Island and then Moskito Island privately by Sir Richard Branson, his efforts has led to successful breeding seasons with hundreds of newborn flamingos being born in the last few years. “Creature From The Blue Lagoon”-Melvin Rutledge Flamingos are a native species to the Caribbean and have adapted to the current struggles. Nevertheless, our current climate change comes into play and the hardships of surviving hurricanes for the alluring fauna is devastating. “Romance Is In The Air”-Melvin Rutledge On a personal note, I was present for one of the most horrific storms that made landfall on the territory. Hour’s prior to the storm’s rampage I drove down to my favorite pond to wish my pink friends the best and pray for the best outcome that might occur. “Hey Good Looking”-Melvin Rutledge Post Hurricane Irma, it has been reported that a total of 58 birds died, reported by the Conservation and Fisheries Commission. In general, the flamingos’ usually mate late into year, usually in December or January, unfortunately they didn’t mate last year. Wildlife managers believe they were traumatized by the storms of September 2017. While numbers are down, a few successful breeding seasons should restore losses and the population should continue to grow. “I Am Only Human Although I regret It”-Melvin Rutledge The people of the BVI have changed their practices and now respects these fabulous and fantastic birds on a personal scale in the Territory of The British Virgin Islands and hope their efforts will be sustainable.