Romanian Ornithological Society (SOR) launched a vote for a Bird of the Year 2023. The campaign, held in November and December, highlights three species, the Dalmatian pelican among them, listed in the newly published Red List of Romanian bird species.
The voting campaign, which will last a month, has 3 candidates – the Eastern imperial eagle, the Dalmatian pelican, and the Sandwich tern. The winning bird will appear on the SOR membership card, and also will get more attention throughout the coming year. All 3 species are included in the Red List of Romanian bird species, which was just launched and has official legal status.
The Red List is an IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) concept, based on quantifiable and unambiguous criteria, on the basis of which the risk of species extinction is assessed. The criteria include population size, population trends, and distribution of the species. On their basis, the species are divided into threatened, near threatened (NT), and species that are not currently threatened or of least concern (LC). Threatened species are subdivided into 3 categories: vulnerable (VU), endangered (EN), and critically endangered (CR). There are also the Extinct in the Wild (EW) and Extinct (EX) categories.
In the case of the newly published list, the evaluation of the species was made based on their status in Romania, but the lists can be made by region, country, continent, or at the global level. In different areas a species can be found in different categories, for example, the red-necked grebe is endangered in Romania, vulnerable in Europe, but of minimal concern globally.
The Red List provides information about the status of the species in the area of interest, but it also provides the legal basis, in the case of the implementation of conservation measures for problematic species. Currently, 41,000 species of those that have been assessed globally are threatened with extinction.
“And that’s why we thought to do something more for the Bird of the Year than just raising awareness,” says Andreea Oprea, Communications manager of SOR. “So, we haven’t chosen common birds, but birds with more serious conservation problems. The 3 proposed species are on the Red List published this year because of their status as nesting birds in our country. The Eastern imperial eagle is Critically Endangered, and the Dalmatian pelican and Sandwich tern are Vulnerable. Thus, the winner will benefit during the whole next year. In addition to posts and other information materials, a small conservation project will be implemented, which people will be able to support as well.”
The Dalmatian pelican in Romania breeds in the Danube Delta and in the vicinity, while adults and immature birds feed and roost on the large lakes and wetlands along the Lower Danube. Being the ambassador of healthy wetlands in Europe, this species is very much vulnerable in the nesting season. If the Dalmatian pelican is chosen as the “Bird of the Year 2023”, SOR will place an artificial platform in the remote area of the Delta to improve nesting conditions for the species.
The electoral platforms of the 3 candidates can be found on the SOR website. To vote you need to access the Facebook page of the Romanian Ornithological Society, go to the album dedicated to the Bird of the Year 2023, and vote by putting “Like” to your favorite species. The voting closes on December 7 and on December 12 SOR team will announce the “Bird of the Year 2023”. Vote for the Dalmatian pelican to help this majestic species thrive!