The Pelecanus crispus, best known as Dalmatian Pelican, is one of the most exposed specie in Lake Skadar, between Albania and Montenegro. To help the monitoring of this great bird, Noé Conservation, with the support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), MAVA Foundation and other donors, has implemented a new video-monitoring system. This new method allows scientists to study and control Pelicans without disturbing them during their breeding season.
Since the 1970s, according to Birdlife International, the number of Dalmatian Pelicans has decreased due to fluctuations in weather conditions and human disturbances, which caused the flooding of nests. For that reason, the Public Enterprise National Parks of Montenegro and the Natural History Museum of Montenegro have added two new rafts to the one already existing.
Thanks to these two initiatives, the colony has increased the number of individuals. To maintain this tendency, the National Park authorities from Skadar Lake have expanded the number of ranger patrols, which work together with the police and the Centre for Protection and Research of Birds in Montenegro (CZIP).
Nowadays, in the words of Andrej Vizi, ornithologist from the Natural History Museum of Montenegro, “we could count pelican disturbance cases on our fingers, and that is a great success”.
To raise awareness among the local communities on the importance of Dalmatian Pelicans, CEPF and Noé Conservation and its partners took the opportunity of World Migratory Bird Day to support the “Regional Pelican Day” in Montenegro on the 10th of May (more information about the Regional Pelican Day here). It has also developed the concept of “Pelican villages”, with an educational trail, research and ranger station, an information centre, and an observation point for tourist and non-invasive boat tours with fishermen.
In addition, the project is part of the first South-East European Pelican census organised by the Society for the Protection of Prespa in collaboration with the Hellenic Ornithological Society, which cover more than 80 wetlands in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, the FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Turkey.
Source: Birdlife International
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
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Association for the Protection of Aquatic Wildlife Albania (APAWA)