Friday, 15 Dec 2017


17th February 2017: 14th February 2017: A historic day for transboundary Prespa

22 September 2016: The Juniper Forests captured the interest of the “students” of the two summer schools, implemented this summer in Prespa

13th September 2016: 100 wetlands and 7 countries in 1 afternoon – the 1st Pelican census covering all of SE Europe and Turkey

15 February 2016: Our life in a wetland! Primary school students from across the transboundary Prespa basin show us what the wetland looks like through their eyes

8 October 2015: Walk in the forests of Prespa with your phone aw a guide!

23 July 2015: United by pelicans

9 February 2015: "Karagiozis, the protector of Prespa!"

2 February 2015, World Wetlands Day: I'ts time for ratification of the Agreement on the transboundary Prespa Park

21 January 2015: Second Dalmatian pelican falls victim to illegal hunting in the Evros Delta

15 April 2014: The Society for the Protection of Prespa is the “Best of the Best” once again!

21 March 2014: The re-introduction of animal husbandry as a conservation measure for the Grecian juniper woods of Prespa

31 January 2014: Prespa Park: at the crossroads of sustainability

3 July 2013: The very first nationwide Pelican Census in Greece!

3 April 2013: Striving to enhance the natural values of the Prespa region, for biodiversity and people, through joint actions across borders

1 February 2013: Prespa Park 2000-2013: time to take new initiatives

10 December 2012: Manual for the protection of fish and fisheries in Prespa

9 October 2012: The thrilling journey of migration!

9 August 2012: Only Greece is now delaying implementation of the International Prespa Park Agreement

The cooperation of the countries of SE Europe is imperative for the protection of the pelicans

8 May 2012: Transboundary Prespa puts fish and fisheries centre stage

3 February 2012: The Society for the Protection of Prespa is celebrating World Wetlands Day with events in Thessaloniki and across the borders in Prespa

23 January 2012: Environmental organisations denounce out-of-control illegal hunting in the Prespa National Park

6 October 2011: With a seal of approval from the European Union, the International Agreement for the Prespa Park is now in the hands of the three states that share the Prespa basin

15 April 2011: Learn all you need to know about keeping the treasures of the lakes safe from harm

2 February 2011: Ratification of International Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park still pending one year after

21 May 2010: Prespes: An ecosystem that still resists

2 February 2010: The three countries and the European Commission commit to cooperate for the protection and the sustainable development of the Prespa Basin




Last Update

Thursday 14 December 2017, 15:49

The cooperation of the countries of SE Europe is imperative for the protection of the pelicans Print E-mail


The need for cooperation and networking between the experts who work in pelican and research conservation in the countries where the species breed, overwinter or migrate was one of the main conclusions of the 1st Workshop on Pelican Research and Conservation in SE Europe.

The workshop was organised by the Society for the Protection of Prespa in collaboration with the Pelican Specialist Group of IUCN SSC and Wetlands International and was kindly hosted in the Pyli Visitor Centre of the Prespa National Park Management Agency.  Sixteen experts from nine countries participated (Israel, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro, Slovenia, France and Greece).

The goals of the workshop were to update knowledge on the population status of pelicans in this part of the world, identify threats and suggest appropriate conservation measures that effectively address them, explore potential synergies, enhance networking and kick-off planning for joint actions and projects.  Presentations and inputs were received from most of the countries in SE Europe where the species breed, overwinter or migrate (Israel, Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro and Greece).

The main conclusions of the workshop were that the Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus and the Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus encountered in the Western Palearctic still face a range of anthropogenic threats, possibly enhanced by global climate change, and that both species have become extinct from large parts of their former range due to habitat loss.

The Dalmatian Pelican is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, while the Great White Pelican is listed as of Least Concern.  Although both species are protected throughout their range, law enforcement is poor in most of the countries they occur.  Disturbance by humans at breeding sites is the main threat for the conservation of Dalmatian Pelican colonies, and overhead power lines are still a widespread threat for both pelican species.  Poorly planned development of wind energy facilities may also be a potential threat.  Habitat degradation in many of the nesting and feeding sites of both species results in a shortage of nesting sites at coastal areas due to erosion as well as decrease of fish stocks.  

Many of the critically important stop-over wetlands for the Great White Pelican, especially in Turkey, have been seriously degraded or have disappeared during the last years. This has dramatically affected the stop-over ecology of these birds and put the population at risk. This is possibly why almost a quarter of all Great White Pelican that migrate through Israel to East Africa (ca. 10,000) arrive in very poor body condition due to starvation and then are reported to cause serious damage to aquaculture.

The participants of the 1st Pelican Workshop therefore recognise the urgent need for collecting information about the status of populations and trends in some countries of SE Europe and of Western and Central Asia, more focused work on wind parks and their potential impacts on pelicans and on the migration ecology of the Great White Pelican along the SE Europe-Turkey-Israel routes. They also identified the need for studying and understanding the movements of non-breeders along the lower Danube and in Ukraine, as well as for higher standardization of all censuses and monitoring schemes.

To respond to these needs, the Pelican Specialist Group will soon compile and publish an updated review of all existing knowledge regarding the SE Europe pelican populations.  Partnerships will be sought with other relevant institutions to set up joint proposals on monitoring and conservation of pelicans in SE Europe, based upon international collaboration. Finally, it was agreed that the 2nd Workshop on Pelican Research and Conservation in SE Europe will be held in Turkey in 2015.

Dr Giorgos Catsadorakis, chairman of the IUCN SSC  WI Pelican Specialist Group, speaking on behalf of the workshop’s participants said that, “Pelicans are not only flagship species with significant cultural importance, but they form a vital component of wetlands that provide important ecosystem services.  As they move over long distances, the same populations rely upon several countries’ resources to cover their needs, thus all “pelican countries” of SE Europe should support joint research and conservation programmes.  They should also work at national and trans-national levels to ensure appropriate management of pelican breeding, migrating and wintering sites.”

For further information:
1) Dr Giorgos Catsadorakis, chairman of the IUCN SSC -WI Pelican Specialist Group and scientific consultant of the Society for the Protection of Prespa, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2) Marianna Vlassi, Communication Officer, Society for the Protection of Prespa, (+30) 23850-51211, (+30)6947 692357

WI Specialist Group Website

The meeting was organised with the generous support of MAVA foundation

Notes for the editors:

1) Please find here the “The Prespa Statement on pelican conservation”: Statement by the participants of the 1st Workshop on Pelican Research and Conservation in SE Europe, 1-2 May 2012, Prespa, Greece.

2) The pelican specialists who participated in the workshop were: Spase Shumka -Protection and Preservation of National Environment in Albania / Albania, Tanyo Michev - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences / Bulgaria,  Alain Crivelli - Τour du Valat / France, Thanos Kastritis -Hellenic Ornithological Society, Theodoros Naziridis - Lake Kerkini Management Body / Greece,  Ohad Hatzofe -Νature & Parks Authority, Science & Conservation Dpt. / Israel,  Darko Saveljic - Centre for Protection & Research of Birds of Montenegro / Μontenegro, Sebastian Bugariu - Romanian Ornithological Society / Romania, Borut Rubinic -DOPPS-Birdlife Slovenia Offfice / Slovenia,  Orhan Gül - Ege University, Natural History Museum / Τurkey,  Οrtaç Onmuş - Ege University, Natural History Museum /Τurkey, Mehmet Siki - Ege University, Natural History Museum / Τurkey,  Giorgos Catsadorakis - Society for the Protection of Prespa & WI- IUCN SSC Pelican Specialist Group / Greece, Myrsini Malakou - Society for the Protection of Prespa/Greece. Dionyssia Hatzilakou/Greece and Antonina Rudenko/Ukraine sent their presentations by mail. Representatives from the following participated in the workshop: Management Body of Aheron and Kalamas river; Management Body of Amvrakikos; Management Body of Evros Delta  National Park; Management Body of Messolongi wetlands; Management Body of Prespa National Park;  Noé Conservation / France and the Society for the Protection of Prespa.

3) Prespa hosts both pelican species that are encountered in Europe - the Dalmatian Pelican and the Great White Pelican.  Since 1987 , the ecology of the Dalmatian Pelican and the Great White Pelican has been studied in Prespa, as part of the International Programme for the Study and Conservation of Pelicans.  The Society for the Protection of Prespa, based on the results of this research, has promoted a series of management measures aimed at the conservation of Dalmatian Pelicans.  As a result Prespa today hosts the largest colony of Dalmatian Pelican in the world, with more than 1.100 pairs. Further information on the conservation measures that the Society for the Protection of Prespa implemented as well as population trends can be found here.


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