site.btaBreeding Season of Dalmatian Pelican in Bulgaria Begins
For the eight consecutive year, Dalmatian pelicans have begun nesting at the Persina Nature Park, marking a successful start of the species' breeding season in Bulgaria. A team of Persina and of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) counted around 50 adult birds preparing their nests there in mid-February, the BSPB reported.
In the Kalimok-Brashlen protected area, there were 32 nesting pairs on the old artificial nesting platform and some 40 pelicans on the new platform, built by the BSPB in December 2022. According to the experts, these numbers suggest a record-setting year for the species in Kalimok-Brashlen, where last year 30 pairs successfully reared 30 chicks.
The breeding season has started successfully in the Srebarna Lake as well, where some 50 adult Dalmatian pelicans were counted on the nesting platforms in January.
In 2022, the population of the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) in the Balkans decreased by some 40% in a matter of months due to the high mortality rate caused by a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza, registered in Greece, Romania, Albania, and Montenegro, Svilen Cheshmedzhiev of the BSPB recalled.
The pelicans nesting in Bulgaria have an important role to play in the conservation of the species, listed as critically endangered in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria and as near threatened in the IUCN Red List. As part of these conservation efforts, in mid-February a BSPB team placed rings and satellite transmitters on two Dalmatian pelicans in the Burgas Lakes area. These will allow scientists to follow the birds' movements and determine where they forage and nest, as well as to learn more about the threats to the species.
The satellite telemetry data will soon be published on www.life-pelicans.com allowing for the real-time monitoring of the two birds’ movements.
The conservation activities for the Dalmatian pelican in Bulgaria are carried out within the Conservation of the Dalmatian Pelican along the Black-Sea Mediterranean Flyway project (Pelican Way of LIFE), the principal conservation project for the species in Europe.