Baby boom on Lake Skadar

„For a long time, this is the most successful breeding season for Dalmatian pelicans on Lake Skadar.” This statement of joy by scientist Andrej Vizi of the Natural History Museum of Montenegro came after he and his colleagues counted 28 fledged pelican chicks during their last monitoring tour in April.

Already busily exploring their habitat: fledged pelicans on Lake Skadar.

© Andrej Vizi

Before this year’s breeding season started, volunteers had already mounted four breeding platforms made of wood and expanded polystyrene and stacked them with reed. This aimed at increasing the pelicans’ breeding success. During the first weeks, the Dalmatian pelicans used the platforms just for resting. But recent observations by staff of the National Park administration found nests on these platforms. The conservationists estimate that the birds are currently breeding on 16 nests.

The breeding platforms form part of a package of measures developed by EuroNatur – thanks to the support by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) – in cooperation with its partners Noé Conservation, Tour du Valat, The Association for Protection of Aquatic Wildlife in Albania (APAWA), Natural History Museum of Montenegro, Center for Protection and Research of Birds (CZIP), and the administration of Lake Skadar National Park. While the extensive shallow water area of Lake Skadar provides an ideal breeding habitat for these shy birds, in recent years clutches and chicks were lost repeatedly. This was due to high fluctuations of the lake’s water level, but also to disturbance by humans.

“This spring, the lake’s water level fluctuations were relatively low, making the high breeding success possible. In order to ensure the breeding success in the long run, our next step must be to minimise disturbances of the birds”, says EuroNatur project manager Pavel Be?ka.

Learn more about EuroNatur projects to protect the pelicans.


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