In July, experts from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) successfully captured and tagged with a GPS transmitter a Dalmatian pelican in Albania. The action was done on request and in cooperation with the team of Protection and Preservation of Nature in Albania (PPNEA), as BSPB experts have big experience and expertise in capturing and tagging pelicans.
The young Dalmatian pelican was captured in the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. For more than a month, the transmitter attached to the bird has been sending signals that allow scientists to track its exact location.
The purpose of this activity is to gather more data about the movements of Dalmatian pelicans between their nesting colony in Divjaka-Karavasta and one of their main feeding areas in the Narta Lagoon. There is currently a project to build a second major airport in Albania between these two wetland areas. If realized, it will cause an ecological catastrophe in the region, as this is the richest ornithological area in Albania. An infrastructure project of such scale will have significant direct and indirect negative impacts on the environment.
“One of the most vulnerable species in this case is the Dalmatian pelican. These heavy and non-maneuverable birds are at risk of collisions with aircraft,” said Vladimir Mladenov from BSPB. “We expect that the data from the pelican we captured will unequivocally demonstrate that the planned airport location is extremely dangerous and obstructs the pelicans’ route between their breeding and feeding grounds. Our colleagues from PPNEA are taking legal action against the airport project, and this data will be highly valuable for them to support their case.”
Earlier this year the BSPB team successfully ringed and tagged with satellite transmitters four Dalmatian pelicans in the Burgas Lakes area. Four more satellite transmitters were placed on young Dalmatian pelicans in the area of Kleisova in Greece.
This activity is carried out within the framework of the initiative Protecting Vjosa’s Delta from Unsustainable Urban Development, funded by the Donors’ Initiative for Mediterranean Freshwater Ecosystems (DIMFE). The participation of BSPB experts in this action is made possible with the support of the Pelican Way of LIFE initiative (LIFE18/NAT/NL/000716), funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and Arcadia Foundation, and with the assistance in Bulgaria of the Whitley Fund for Nature.