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.
Persina Nature Park shelters 2 of the 3 nesting colonies of the Dalmatian Pelican in Bulgaria – on the Dead Marsh and Peschina swamp. In the framework of “Pelican Way of Life” project a new wooden nesting platform of 62 sq.m. was built in the Peschina swamp by the team of volunteers and experts of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) and the Directorate of Persina Nature Park – Belene. Also 2 platforms in the Peschina Marsh and the Dead Marsh were repaired.
In the newly formed nesting colony of the species on the wooden platform in Martvo (Dead) Marsh, 8 pairs managed to raise a total of 6 young. The season was also successful for the colony in the Peschina swamp, where 22 couples raised 34 young. The chicks took off at the end of July, but still stay close to the platforms in the two swamps of Persin Island.
The marshes on Persin Island attracted more than two hundred Great White Pelicans, which used the wooden platforms only as a place to rest and sleep.
The care of the nesting colonies in Persina Nature Park includes regular monitoring activities, as well as maintaining the wooden platforms in good condition, so as to provide a safe and secure place where pelicans can raise their chicks, year after year. The water in the marshes is a key factor for a number of waterfowl inhabiting the island. So maintaining the water regime of the Persin Island Wetland, which was restored in 2008, is also of paramount importance.
The conservation activities of the Dalmatian Pelican are carried out in the framework of “Pelican Way of Life” project (LIFE18 NAT/NL/000716), coordinated by Rewilding Europe, funded by the LIFE Program of the European Commission and Arcadia Fund. The work carried out in Persina Nature Park is also supported by Whitley Fund for Nature.
The Dalmatian pelican is an ambassador for healthy and well connected wetlands in Europe. One of the project objectives is to improve the habitat of Dalmatian pelicans by improving breeding and roosting conditions, protecting wetlands and large-scale nature restoration (rewetting & connecting waterways).
Artificial platforms are planned to be built or enlarged along the flyway at key sites in Bulgaria (Belene Island and the Burgas Wetlands) and Ukraine (Danube Biosphere Reserve). The record number of chicks raised this year in Persina Nature Park shows the effectiveness the nesting platforms and conservation actions of the project. The platforms in the Danube Delta in Ukraine will be built next year.