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.
The pelicans have successfully occupied the wooden platform in the Dead Swamp on the island of Persin (Belene). The platform was built by experts and volunteers of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) and the Directorate of Persina Nature Park – Belene. After this great conservation success, there are now three colonies of the Dalmatian Pelican in the country: Srebarna Lake, Peschina Swamp (since 2016) and Dead Swamp.
Eight pairs of Dalmatian pelicans have occupied the wooden platform in the Dead Swamp, and the birds are currently caring for their young. 22 pairs of pelicans have occupied the other platform, located at the eastern end of the Peschina swamp, where pelicans have been nesting since 2016. They are also currently caring for their young. The distance in a straight line between the two colonies on the island of Persin is 1800 m. The new colony can also be considered as a sub colony of the one that appeared on the island earlier. With this, the Special Protected Area “Belenski Ostrovi Complex” confirms its key international importance for the protection of the Dalmatian Pelican on the Lower Danube.
The BSPB team will continue the regular monitoring in the coming days and weeks, with an emphasis on the number of young and their successful take-off. The conservation activities of the Dalmatian Pelican are carried out in the framework of the Pelican Way of Life project, funded by the EU Life Program and with the help of the Whitley Fund for Nature.
In Bulgaria the Dalmatian Pelican is a breeding, migrating and wintering species, with the total national population estimated at between 70 and 120 pairs. The species breeds regularly in Srebarna Lake. In order to improve the breeding and roosting situation of Dalmatian pelicans, artificial platforms (which have already proven to be effective) will be built or enlarged along the flyway at key sites in Bulgaria (Belene Island and the Burgas Wetlands) and Ukraine (Danube Biosphere Reserve).