Unlike last year, 2023 turned out to be much more favorable for the Dalmatian Pelicans nesting in Persina Nature Park and Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area. The main reason for this is the relatively high-water level of the Danube River from February to June, which is crucial for the wetland areas along the river and the water-loving bird species nesting there.
For the eighth consecutive year, the Dalmatian Pelicans nesting in Persina Nature Park had a successful breeding season. It is particularly pleasing that in 2023 the pelicans occupied all three wooden platforms built for them in the swamps of Persin Island. The two platforms in Peschina Marsh were occupied by a total of 35 pairs of Dalmatian Pelicans, which successfully raised 48 chicks. On the other hand, the platform in Dead Marsh was occupied by 4 pairs of pelicans, which successfully raised 6 chicks. All young pelicans fledged at the end of June and are currently staying close to the platforms in the two swamps of Persin Island, as well as on the adjacent sandbars along the Danube River.
In total, 39 pairs of Dalmatian Pelicans nested in Persina Nature Park in 2023, successfully raising 54 chicks. It is also interesting to note that this year once again the swamps of Persin Island attracted during the breeding season around two hundred Great White Pelicans, which also used the nearby wooden platforms as resting and roosting spots. Both swamps are part of the “Persinski Blata” Managed Nature Reserve, which also includes Staro Blato and Dulova Bara.
The breeding colony of Dalmatian Pelicans formed in the Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area near Tutrakan in 2021 had an exceptionally successful and record-breaking season. In the current year, 79 pairs successfully raised 107 young pelicans, which is an absolute record! All young pelicans fledged at the end of June and are still staying close to the platforms and the sandy beaches along the Danube River in the area. It is worth noting that a new breeding colony of the species was formed in Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area in April 2021, with 3 pairs successfully raising 4 chicks, and in 2022, 30 pairs successfully raised 30 chicks. This is a remarkable success in nature conservation and another successful step in the protection of this majestic species!
In Lake Srebarna, 10 pairs of Dalmatian Pelicans nested and successfully raised 15 chicks in the current year. Overall, in Bulgaria in 2023, a total of 128 pairs of Dalmatian Pelicans nested, successfully raising 176 chicks.
The conservation activities on the Dalmatian Pelican are carried out in the framework of the international initiative “Pelican Way of LIFE” funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and Arcadia Foundation, and with the assistance in Bulgaria of the Whitley Fund for Nature.