The Danube Delta is one of Europe’s largest and most important wetlands. Efforts by the Rewilding Ukraine team and partners to restore natural water flow here are great news for Dalmatian pelicans and great news for local communities.
At the end of December, an ornithologist Maksym Yakovlev and a zoologist Oleksandr Gaydash traditionally went to the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta to count the Dalmatian pelicans. Due to the war, access to some areas was limited or even closed, but scientists managed to do the counts in many large water bodies of the delta.
Last week, the construction of an artificial nesting platform for the Dalmatian pelicans was completed on one of the Danube lakes on the south of Ukraine as part of the “Pelican Way Of LIFE” initiative. The Rewilding Ukraine team hopes that this season the flying giants will build their nests on it.
Despite the difficult weather conditions, at the end of December 2021, winter survey of the Dalmatian pelican took place in Ukraine. It was organized simultaneously with similar surveys in other Eastern European countries. This year’s results give hope: three and a half times more pelicans are left to spend the winter in the Danube Delta than last year.
In early June, two artificial breeding platforms for Dalmatian pelicans were installed in the Danube Biosphere Reserve in Ukraine as part of the “Pelican Way of LIFE” project.
During the fourth Southeastern European Pelican Census simultaneous measures were taken in many European countries to count two globally endangered species – Great white and Dalmatian pelicans. In Ukraine the counts took place on May 15-21 as part of the “Pelican Way of LIFE” project, being implemented in our country by Rewilding Ukraine in cooperation with the Danube Biosphere Reserve (DBR).
Recent surveys indicate that the Dalmatian pelican is making a tentative comeback in Europe. This is good news for ongoing rewilding efforts, which are playing a supportive role in the recovery.
At the end of May, a field expedition organized by Rewilding Ukraine to conduct scientific counts of the Dalmatian pelican and a photo mission took place in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta, as part of the “Pelican Way of LIFE” project. The counts were conducted by Maxim Yakovlev, an ornithologist at the Danube Biosphere Reserve, who has been photographing nature and the inhabitants of this picturesque region for more than 15 years. He was assisted by zoologist Alexander Gaidash.