Photo: © Iordan Dobrev
At the end of last year and at the beginning of January, a team of experts and volunteers of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) managed to carry out a number of activities related to improving the nesting conditions of the protected Dalmatian Pelican on the territory of the “Mandra – Poda” Special Protection Area (BG0000271).
Last winter the team built two floating platforms with a total area of 80 sq.m. in the oxidation ponds of “LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas” AD. These reservoirs are one of the most preferred places for resting for the Dalmatian Pelicans in the Burgas Lakes region. Human disturbance there is kept to a minimum, which is extremely important for this species. Happily, the pelicans very quickly and extremely well accepted the new floating platforms, which instantly became a favorite roosting and resting place for both Dalmatian and Great White pelicans.
In order to make them as attractive as possible to the birds before the start of the new breeding season, this winter the team carried out a technical inspection and managed to mow a sufficient amount of reeds to cover the floating platforms. Thus, they resemble reed islands as much as possible, which are one of the favorite nesting places of the Dalmatian pelicans. In addition, the team was able to partially reed two of the old platforms located in the easternmost basin of the oxidation ponds.
Encouragingly, in the following days nearly 200 Dalmatian pelicans, most of them adults in breeding plumage, were recorded roosting on the platforms, with some of the birds moving the reeds with interest and displaying typical mating behavior. This is a good sign and BSPB will continue to monitor the pelican and platform situation in the area with interest in the coming weeks.
BSPB expresses its gratitude to all the volunteers who joined in this difficult task!
The conservation activities of the Dalmatian Pelican are carried out in the framework of the “Pelican Way of LIFE” project (LIFE18/NAT/NL/000716), funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and with the assistance of the Whitley Fund for Nature.