Well-filled nurseries of the pelicans

Baby boom of Dalmatian Pelicans at Lake Skadar in Montenegro: Project staff counted 40 nestlings by mid-June. And this number will be increasing, as in the nests on the breeding platforms several eggs are still being incubated.

Dalmatian pelican with several squabs sitting in a nest

Newborn pelicans stay in their nest for about one month.

© Andrej Vizi

The preliminary numbers indicate that this year’s breeding season will be nearly as successful as the one of the record-setting year 2014, when 48 fledglings populated Lake Skadar – more than in any year since the late 1970s. There is good news from the Karavasta Lagoon in Albania, too, where this season saw the hatching of 52 pelican chicks already – more than twice the numbers of 2014.

This development is to a large part owed to conservation measures implemented by EuroNatur and its partners at Lake Skadar and Karavasta Lagoon. The extensive shallow water zones of these two areas make for ideal breeding conditions for the shy birds. But disturbance by humans repeatedly caused clutch and nestling losses over the past years. In order to avoid this from happening in the future, clearly visible protected areas have been implemented surrounding the pelicans’ breeding grounds. Ranger patrols at close intervals further contribute to creating an undisturbed area for the birds. Moreover, additional breeding platforms have been installed prior to this year’s breeding season at Lake Skadar, increasing available breeding space by 50%. The pelicans immediately took use of this additional space.

Partners: Noé Conservation, administration of Lake Skadar National Park, Tour du Valat, APAWA, CZIP, Natural History Museum of Montenegro, administration of Divjakë-Karavasta National Park, SPP, IUCN/WI-Pelican Specialist Group, INCA, PPNEA

Funding: MAVA Foundation, CEPF, CMS, Botiaux Dulac Foundation, LUSH cosmetics, EuroNatur donors and sponsors

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