© Svilen Cheshmedziev
For the sixth year in a row, Dalmatian pelicans nesting in Persina Nature Park had a successful breeding season. It is completely delightful that in 2021 the pelicans occupied all three wooden platforms build for them in the marshes on Persin Island. 64 pairs of Dalmatian pelicans occupied the two platforms in Peschina swamp and raised successfully 80 young birds. The third platform in Dead Marsh marsh was occupied by 24 pairs of pelicans which raised 25 young birds.
All young pelicans flew away at the end of July and are currently staying close to the platforms in the two marshes on Persin Island as well as on the neighboring sandy slopes along the Danube. In summary, in 2021, 88 pairs of Dalmatian pelicans nested in Persina Nature Park and successfully raised 105 juveniles, which is an absolute record for the region! It is also interesting to note that for another year, the marshes on Persin Island attracted about two hundred Great white pelicans during the breeding season, which also used wooden platforms, but only as a place to rest and roost. The two marshes are part of the Persina marsh Maintained Reserve located on the island, which also includes Staroto Blato marsh and Dulyova Bara.
This year’s newly formed breeding colony of Dalmatian pelicans in the Kalimok-Brashlen Protected Area, near the town of Tutrakan, also had a successful season. At the beginning of December 2020, within the project “Wetlands Along Lower Danube – healthy home for pelicans and people”, implemented by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), a wooden platform was built in the protected area to attract pelicans. The interesting thing here is that the team placed on the platform three real-size models of pelicans with the purpose to arouse interest in the pelicans so they to accept the platform as their home as soon as possible. It was extremely gratifying that in April 2021, three pairs made their nests on a platform and managed to raise four juveniles, which flew away at the end of July. The newly formed colony of Dalmatian pelicans in Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Site is a huge conservation success and another successful step in the conservation of this majestic species.
In 2016, for the first time in the last 60 years, a new breeding colony of the Dalmatian pelicans was formed in Bulgaria – in the Peschina swamp. Until then the only place where the species successfully bred in our country was Lake Srebarna. In 2020, the pelicans successfully occupied the platform in the Dead marsh, also located on Persin Island, and in 2021 a new breeding colony of the species was formed in the Kalimok-Brashlen Protected Site, which made the nesting sites of this endangered species in the country three – Lake Srebarna, the marshes of Persin Island and Kalimok-Brashlen Protected Site.
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.