With the year 2020 coming to the end, we are happy to share with you the year highlights of the rewilding efforts for Dalmatian pelican comeback along the Black-Sea Mediterranean Flyway. As the Dalmatian pelican is the ambassador of healthy wetlands, other species and the whole ecosystem will also benefit in the long run.
Recent surveys indicate that the Dalmatian pelican is making a tentative comeback in Europe. This is good news for ongoing rewilding efforts, which are playing a supportive role in the recovery.
The breeding population of the Dalmatian pelicans in Romania has been assessed this year on Lake Tasaul and in the Danube Delta and its lagoon area. Monitoring activities are coordinated by the Romanian Ornithological Society (SOR), which is a partner of the pan-European “Pelican way of LIFE” project.
At the end of May, a field expedition organized by Rewilding Ukraine to conduct scientific counts of the Dalmatian pelican and a photo mission took place in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta, as part of the “Pelican Way of LIFE” project. The counts were conducted by Maxim Yakovlev, an ornithologist at the Danube Biosphere Reserve, who has been photographing nature and the inhabitants of this picturesque region for more than 15 years. He was assisted by zoologist Alexander Gaidash.
A new scheme for patrolling the territory of Persina Nature Park was launched in April, organized by Persina National Park and with the participation of experts from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB). The purpose of the patrol is to monitor the level of disturbance and behavior of Dalmatian pelicans along the section of the Danube adjacent to the park.
In the last week of August, 14 volunteers took part in the monitoring of pelicans and other waterbirds in the Burgas lakes in Bulgaria. They also inspected dangerous power lines located near the Specially Protected Areas of Natura 2000 Mandra-Poda Complex and Atanasovsko Lake.
Supporting wildlife comeback is a core element of the work at Rewilding Europe. The story of how wild animals are returning across Europe, spontaneously or with human help, will soon captivate millions of television viewers around the world. The new six-part documentary series called “Europe’s New Wild” will begin a global rollout in early September. The series includes an episode about the Danube Delta – Europe’s Amazon.
2020 is extremely successful for Dalmatian Pelicans nesting in Persina Nature Park for the fifth consecutive year. This season, 30 pairs of Dalmatian pelicans nested there, raising 40 chicks, which is a new record for the area.
During June, waterbirds belonging to protected species were discovered dead on three occasions, due to collision with power lines inside the protected area of the Mesolonghi Lagoon National Park, western Greece.
A third nesting colony of the protected Dalmatian pelican in Bulgaria was formed during the current nesting period. It was noticed in June by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds.