Saving the Dalmatian pelican in the Danube Delta
The Dalmatian pelican is arguably one of the most beautiful and charismatic breeding birds in Europe. Nevertheless, it is extremely vulnerable within its entire geographic distribution.
- Overall, first the Romanian breeding population needs to be stabilized, then increased across all sites in the Danube Delta.
- Increased number of breeding birds in Romania, to 450 breeding pairs by 2008 and to 500 by 2009.
- Increased breeding success by protecting the existing sites and increasing nesting surface by installing artificial structures.
- Restrict hunting and fishing at the breeding sites and encourage sensitive conservation management of fish farms to reduce disturbance and conflict.
- Derive 'Best practice' examples from implementing this project, and then widely disseminate them, emphasizing the establishment of new Natura2000 sites over time.
The team are concentrating on the implementation of the satellite telemetry component of the project that will help to determine the dispersal of juvenile and adult Dalmatian pelicans after nesting, and hope to identify factors that cause low survivorship of juvenile pelicans.
- Elaborating the site management plan for the protection of breeding sites has provided increased protection and more effective management.
- Training courses for DDBRA wardens have been held every year (2006-2008) at the beginning of the breeding season.
- Courses have been held for fish farmers and managers on best management practices favourable for Dalmatian pelicans.
- Satellite tagging of three juvenile Dalmatian pelicans has revealed new information on habitat use during the winter by young pelicans.
- Consolidating one island which hosts a breeding colony and installing artificial platforms close to two breeding sites has proven attractive.
- Installing warning signs and buoys close to colonies and information boards in tourist areas has reduced disturbance.
- Aerial and ground monitoring of colonies and feeding areas has provided significant new information on all key colonies.
- Disseminating results through media articles, a television documentary, exhibitions and public seminars have engaged the interest of key groups.
- Performing education activities at schools in the project area and at summer camps have engaged with local schoolchildren.