Dalmatian pelican hatches on Bulgarian site for the first time in 60 years | WWF
Dalmatian pelican hatches on Bulgarian site for the first time in 60 years

Posted on 16 June 2016

Great white pelicans also discovered nesting
Belene - A Dalmatian pelican hatched on Persina (Belene) Island on the Danube in Bulgaria for the first time in 60 years. So far, the only breeding site of the bird, considered Critically Endangered in Bulgaria and Vulnerable worldwide, was Srebarna Lake, further east on the Danube. The other news is that pairs of great white pelicans are now also nesting there. They are considered extinct as a nesting species in Bulgaria and only migrate through or winter in the country.

The discoveries mark a great success for Bulgarian nature conservation. The new Dalmatian pelican colony and the reappearance of the great white pelican as a nesting species are the result of efforts of Birdlife Bulgaria to set up wooden platforms on Persina Island together with Persina Nature Park directorate in cooperation with WWF and Moto-Pfohe. WWF has also initiated the restoration of the island wetlands and the creation of Persina Nature Park.

The Dalmatian pelicans took to one of the wooden platforms on Peschina Swamp in Persina Nature Park in April. A team of Birdlife Bulgaria has already observed the hatchling a few times, which was curiously peeking from the nest under the watchful eyes of an adult bird.

Having a second active colony of Dalmatian pelicans in Bulgaria increases their chances of survival. When concentrated in one place, species are vulnerable to all kinds of threats like disease, bad weather conditions and more.

Right now, ten more pairs of Dalmatian pelicans are incubating. Three or four pairs of Great white pelicans are also nesting on the same platform and keeping them company.  

The young are expected to hatch in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, conservationists continue to monitor the situation in the colony.

Persina Nature Park is also a Natura 2000 site. Currently, the EU's Natura 2000 network of protected sites is under pressure from some businesses and governments who would like to weaken the EU nature protection legislation. WWF has launched a campaign to “Turn Up the Volume of Nature” across Europe inviting people to reconnect with the sounds of nature and take action to ensure the protection of many natural habitats and species that are still under threat. Create your nature song now and send it to EU politicians.
The young Dalmatian pelican is the first in 60 years to hatch outside Srebarna Lake further east on the Danube in Bulgaria
© Svilen Cheshmedzhiev / Birdlife Bulgaria
Turn up the volume of nature!
© Think Digital / WWF