The dalmatian pelican population is severely affected by an avian influenza outbreak that is currently in progress at the Prespa National Park in Greece, in the Lesser Prespa Lake Dalmatian pelican colony that is the largest colony of the species in the world.
In mid-January, a team of experts and volunteers from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) successfully built two new floating platforms for the protected Dalmatian pelican.
Despite the difficult weather conditions, at the end of December 2021, winter survey of the Dalmatian pelican took place in Ukraine. It was organized simultaneously with similar surveys in other Eastern European countries. This year’s results give hope: three and a half times more pelicans are left to spend the winter in the Danube Delta than last year.
On the 10th of December 2021 “Maria”, the first Dalmatian pelican with a satellite transmitter in Bulgaria, has died. The cause of death was a collision with the overhead powerline.
At the very end of the year we are happy to share with you the year highlights of the rewilding efforts for Dalmatian pelican comeback along the Black-Sea Mediterranean Flyway. This year was quite active and exciting in all the involved countries and for all partners. A lot of activities from the scientific monitoring of the species to public events and volunteers camp took place in the region. Enjoy the details in the list below.
At the beginning of October, Pelican Way Of LIFE boatman and guide training took place in Sfantu Gheorghe, located in the Danube Delta. The 2-day course was the first event in the series of 3 trainings planned for Romania.
An international census of wintering Dalmatian pelicans on the Balkan Peninsula took place in late November and mid-December. The purpose of the census is to collect data on the number and distribution of endangered Dalmatian pelicans in the study area. The study was conducted in two stages. A census was made at the end of November in the Western Balkans – Western Greece, Albania, and Montenegro. In the period December 10-12, wetlands in Bulgaria and Romania were visited. The activity is organized within the initiative “Pelican Way of LIFE”.
A new study has identified suitable habitat in the Netherlands and Flanders that could support at least 250 breeding pairs of Dalmatian pelicans once again. The findings highlight the growing potential for a reintroduction after an absence of over 500 years.
After a team of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) marked a Dalmatian pelican in Atanasovsko Lake with a satellite transmitter in February, a Great white pelican was successfully trapped and tagged on September 15 in the area of Lake Burgas. Both activities are pilot for Bulgaria.
From 21 to 29 of August 2021 nature conservation brigade “Atanasovsko lake” gathered nearly 50 volunteers for the 32nd time. Its main goal was to help providing a better nesting environment for the birds in the area by maintaining and repairing the existing infrastructure.