Photo: © Damyan Petkov

In late December, a joint team of experts and volunteers from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) and a representative of the Tutrakan Tourism Development Association carried out a series of activities to improve nesting conditions for the protected Dalmatian Pelican in the Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area.

© Damyan Petkov

The Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area is a wetland of international importance for the conservation of various waterfowl. Similar to the marshes of Persin Island, a successful project was implemented here to restore the water regime. The Dalmatian Pelican is one of the species found in the area, prompting the construction of a wooden platform in December 2020. At that time, our joint team also placed three life-size models of pelicans, aiming to attract the Dalmatian Pelicans more quickly. The results were swift, and the following spring saw the formation of the third nesting site for this magnificent species in the country, after those in Srebarna Lake and Persina Nature Park. In 2023, a record was registered here – 79 pairs successfully raised 107 pelican chicks.

© Damyan Petkov

To be maximally attractive to the birds, before the start of the new breeding season, this winter we conducted a technical inspection and managed to mow a sufficient amount of reeds, covering both wooden platforms. This makes them closely resemble reed islands, which are one of the favorite nesting places for Dalmatian Pelicans. In addition, our team carried out minor repair work to ensure even greater strength and stability of the platforms. It is gratifying that in the following days, a group of about 30 adult Dalmatian Pelicans in breeding plumage was observed around the platforms in the Protected Area.

We express our immense gratitude to all the volunteers who participated in this challenging task and worked in the field under extremely harsh weather conditions – strong winds and low temperatures! We hope that the Dalmatian Pelicans will have another successful breeding season in the Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area.

© Vladimir Mladenov

The activities for protecting the Dalmatian pelican are carried out within the project “Pelican Way of LIFE” (LIFE18/NAT/NL/000716), funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and with the assistance of the Whitlеy Fund for Nature.