A Dalmatian pelican tagged with a satellite transmitter for the first time in Bulgaria

March 1, 2021

On February 22nd, a team of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) successfully trapped and tagged with a satellite transmitter a Dalmatian Pelican in the area of ​​Atanasovsko Lake near Burgas. This is the first Dalmatian pelican with a transmitter in Bulgaria.

The transmitter weighs 33 grams and measures 55 × 56 × 32 mm. It is placed on a section of the bird’s wing, where it does not create inconvenience during flight and swimming. The team also marked the pelican with coloured rings, measured its weight, wing length, beak, legs and tail to study the species. The information will be crucial for its future protection.

After the manipulation, the Dalmatian pelican was released. Now the data from the transmitter shows that the bird is still in the area, roosting and feeding in different parts of the Burgas lakes.

This is the fourth Dalmatian pelican trapped this season by BSPB experts. The other birds, which were marked only with colored rings, were also observed in the field by the team and appear to be in good health. Trapping and tagging of adult Dalmatian pelicans is done for the first time in Bulgaria and is a great progress in the study of this rare species. The ringing and satellite telemetry data will help us to learn more about the ecology and threats to the Dalmatian Pelican. This will help us plan and undertake future conservation measures to protect it.

The immature female Dalmatian pelican tagged with a transmitter is named after Dr. Maria Paspaleva – Talpyanu – a prominent Bulgarian ornithologist, ecologist, conservationist and environmentalist, who has made a great contribution to the protection of birds and the nature of Bulgaria.

The study of the species by satellite telemetry is carried out within the framework of the international project “Conservation of the Dalmatian pelican along the Black-Sea Mediterranean Flyway” (LIFE18/NAT/NL/000716) funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union. The project is coordinated by Rewilding Europe, BSPB, the Persina Nature Park Directorate, the Romanian Ornithological Society (SOR), the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS), Rewilding Ukraine and Rewilding  Danube Delta. The data from the transmitter will soon be uploaded on the project website www.life-pelicans.com  and it will be possible to monitor the bird’s movements in real time.


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