Monday, 19 Feb 2018


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

Friday 16 February 2018, 17:18

23 July 2015: United by pelicans Print E-mail

Photo 1 (Left): During the 3rd Pan-Hellenic Pelican Census

Photo 2 (Right): At the 2nd Working Meeting for Pelicans, 25th-26th June, Kerkini 

The 3rd Pan-Hellenic Pelican Census was carried out for the third year in succession, on 16th May 2015, in 41 wetlands throughout Greece. The aim of the census was to record the total number of pelicans that use the wetlands of the country during their breeding period.

The census is an initiative of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) and the Hellenic Ornithological Society and it was successfully achieved thanks to the participation of the Management Bodies for 12 protected areas  – Evros Delta; Nestos Delta-Vistonida-Ismarida; Koroneia & Volvi Lakes; Lake Kerkini; Axios Delta-Loudias-Aliakmonas; Prespa National Park; Pamvotida Lake; Karla-Mavrovounio-Kefalovryso-Velestino; Amvrakikos Wetlands; Messolonghi Lagoon; Straits and Estuaries of the Acherondas and Kalamas Rivers; Kotychio-Strophylia Wetlands – and several volunteers from the Hellenic Ornithological Society network. The census of the Prespa Lakes, which is shared by three countries, was carried out at transboundary level by the SPP in co-operation with Albanian ornithologists and the environmental organisation MES (fYR of Macedonia).

The census counts the two species of pelican that are found in Greece: the globally endangered Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) and the Great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus). This year the activity was held later than in previous years, in order to more accurately count the numbers of great white pelicans, as they fully complete their migratory journey from eastern sub-Saharan Africa to the countries of SE Europe in May.

In total almost 4000 Dalmatian pelicans in 24 wetlands and 1000 Great white pelicans in 11 wetlands were recorded. The number of Dalmatian pelicans has remained more or less stable over the three years of the census, whereas significantly larger numbers of Great white pelicans were recorded this year. This increase is directly related to the decision to hold this year’s census at a later date, as noted above. Although globally very rare, the Dalmatian pelican has established five colonies in Greece, with the largest of these at Lesser Prespa Lake, which is also the largest in the world. The Great white pelican is internationally more numerous and has a wider distribution, and in Greece it is at the western-most edge of its range. Until this year, the only Great white pelican colony in Greece was at Lesser Prespa Lake. However, on a later date of this year’s census researchers confirmed that great white pelicans also bred at the reservoir of the former Lake Karla in Thessaly, on the same islet as an existing Dalmatian pelican colony. It is also worth noting here that the Karla Reservoir attracts increasing numbers of rare and protected bird species, a fact which demonstrates the enormous ecological importance of the restoration works which have been carried out there in the last 10 years.

The wetlands where the pelicans breed – Lesser Prespa, Kerkini, Amvrakikos, Messolonghi and Karla – play a crucial role in the protection and conservation of the two species. As expected, the largest numbers of pelicans were recorded in these wetlands. However, significant numbers of pelicans were recorded at many other wetlands, as these cover the birds’ needs for food during the breeding period, provide safe and undisturbed roosting areas and are also used as stop-overs during migration.

The data collected during the census contribute to the design of protection and conservation measures for the country’s pelicans and also highlight the need for the integrated protection and management of Greek wetlands as a whole. They also demonstrate the importance of collaboration between different organisations and individuals, as it would be impossible to carry out such a large-scale activity without this kind of co-operation.

The results of the three censuses, as well as a brief analysis of the data, were presented at the 2nd Working Meeting for Pelicans, which was held in Kerkini on 25th-26th June, and in which the Hellenic Ornithological Society, the SPP and 9 management bodies participated.

For more information:

Dimitra Paschalidou, Communications Officer, Society for the Protection of Prespa, 0030 23850 51211

Roula Trigou, Conservation Activities Communications Co-ordinator, Hellenic Ornithological Society, 0030 210 8228704


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