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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

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Friday 15 December 2017, 19:25

3 July 2013: The very first nationwide Pelican Census in Greece! Print E-mail



The first nationwide Pelican Census was successfully held this spring in thirty wetlands throughout the country. This action was an initiative of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) and the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) and involved a national census of the two species of pelicans which breed in Greece: the globally endangered Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) and the White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus). The census was carried out in collaboration with ten Management Bodies for Protected Areas: the Management Body (MB) for the Evros Delta, the MB for the Nestos Delta - Vistonida - Ismarida, the MB for Lake Koroneia - Lake Volvi, the MB for Lake Kerkini, the MB for the Axios Delta - Loudias - Aliakmonas, the MB for the Prespa National Park, the MB for Lake Pamvotida, the MB for Karla - Mavrovouni - Kephalovryso - Velestino, the MB for the Amvrakikos Wetlands, the MB for the Kotychi - Strophilia Wetlands and the MB for the Messolonghi Lagoon. More than forty people participated in the census, including staff from the management bodies, members of two NGOs and volunteer birdwatchers.

The aim of the census was to gauge the total number of pelicans using the wetlands of Greece during the breeding season. The data obtained will be used to help plan protective measures, for the conservation and management of pelicans in the country, which is especially important in the case of the Dalmatian Pelican. This is a species of international concern, for which Greece bears a very great responsibility as Lesser Prespa Lake hosts the largest colony of the species in the world (about 1,200 pairs) and overall Greece is home to more than 25% of the world population!

A total of 3564 Dalmatian Pelicans were recorded in sixteen of the country’s wetlands and 684 White Pelicans in nine wetlands. Both species were recorded as being present together in eight of the thirty wetlands where the census took place. Of central importance to the protection and conservation of the two species are the wetlands where they breed - Lesser Prespa Lake, Amvrakikos Wetlands, Lake Kerkini, Messolonghi Lagoon and Lake Karla - and where, as was expected, significant numbers of the birds were recorded.

Special mention should be made of the most recently established colony of Dalmatian pelicans, that at Lake Karla. The area is already of great importance to Dalmatian Pelicans, however in a few months the existing nesting islets will no longer exist due to rising water levels. Only when the wetland is fully and properly restored will we ensure that the breeding colony can be maintained.

The census also revealed that some wetlands play a very important role as feeding grounds and places for roosting for large numbers of pelicans. The wetlands are located relatively close to breeding sites and they make a significant contribution to meeting the pelicans’ increased need for food during the breeding season. These wetlands are the lakes of Western Macedonia – Vegoritida, Cheimaditida and Polyphyto Reservoir, Lake Volvi in Central Macedonia and Kotychi & Prokopou Lagoons in the Western Peloponnese. Furthermore, because these wetlands are safe areas which are rich in food, they also ensure that non-breeding individuals are able to feed and roost. It is possible that some of them may also become future nesting sites for both species.

An urgent need has been recognised through this first National Pelican Census: the integrated protection and proper management of all wetlands of the country. Wetlands are highly productive and biodiversity-rich ecosystems and they provide numerous goods and services to humans. All the Management Bodies and NGOs involved anticipate repeating the census next year and monitoring developments in these valuable wetlands.


 

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