In the last week of August, 14 volunteers took part in the monitoring of pelicans and other waterbirds in the Burgas lakes in Bulgaria. They also inspected dangerous power lines located near the Specially Protected Areas of Natura 2000 Mandra-Poda Complex and Atanasovsko Lake.
Thanks to the volunteers, the Dalmatian pelicans were successfully counted in the area around Burgas lakes. 298 individuals were reported.
Atanasovsko Lake, Burgas Lake and Mandra-Poda Complex are amongst the most important places for the protection of the Dalmatian Pelican in Europe. Up to 800 individuals of this protected species regularly congregate here. Burgas wetlands are an important stop for a huge number of birds migrating along the Via Pontica.
The field experts of Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds/BirdLife Bulgaria (BSPB) conducted training on bird identification and counting for the volunteers. During the monitoring of the lakes, 72 species of waterfowl with a total number of about 50,000 individuals were identified, including 585 Greater Flamingos, 6,000 White Pelicans and many more.
In addition to that, the volunteers also varnished the two wooden pavilions located at the observation point for migrating soaring birds in Atanasovsko Lake. The place is emblematic of migration monitoring and is used annually by many bird lovers from all around the world.
The conservation activities of the Dalmatian Pelican are carried out in the framework of the project “Pelican Way of Life” (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 Bulgaria is also supported by Whitley Fund for Nature.
In Bulgaria the Dalmatian Pelican is a breeding, migrating and wintering species. 10 sites in the country are included in the “Pelican Way of LIFE project” – Belene Island Complex, Straldzha Complex, Srebarna Lake, Ovtcharitsa Reservoir, Yazovir Rozov Kladenets, Shabla Lake Complex, Burgasko Lake, Mandra-Poda Complex, Atanasovsko Lake and Studen Kladenets.