Pelicans on the up

The Dalmatian pelicans of the Albanian Karavasta lagoon have made a successful start to the new breeding season. The last time that staff from EuroNatur’s partner organisation Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) did their rounds in early March, they counted 50 breeding pairs. The last time such high numbers were recorded was in the mid-1990s.

Dalmatian pelicans breeding on an island in the Karavasta lagoon

These Dalmatian pelicans on the Karavasta lagoon are breeding on an island.

© Taulant Bino

The package of measures to protect these creatures was introduced by EuroNatur with support from  the Mava foundation together with partner organisations Noé Conservation,Tour du Valat, PPNEA and the management of the Divjaka-Karavasta national park, and it has made a significant contribution to these positive developments. It is true that the Karavasta lagoon with its extensive shallows offers these shy birds the ideal breeding conditions. Yet in past years, eggs and young were repeatedly lost mainly as a result of human interventions.

So as a first step, a clearly visible protected area around the pelican’s breeding ground has been marked out with buoys. Close scrutiny from ranger patrols is helping to establish an area where the birds are not disturbed. “What’s more, our ‘publicity campaign’ activities have succeeded in increasing the local population’s acceptance of the protection of the Dalmatian pelican,” says EuroNatur project leader Stefan Ferger.



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