Sunday, 25 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

100 wetlands and 7 countries in 1 afternoon – the 1st Pelican census covering all of SE Europe and Turkey Print E-mail

Press Release Tuesday 13 September 2016

The results of an international census of two pelican species, the globally endangered Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) and the great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), brought new data, obtained for the first time, into the hands of the scientists involved in their protection.

The simultaneous census took place on 7th May 2016 in six countries in the Balkans and also in Turkey. The census was an initiative of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP), an environmental NGO based in Agios Germanos, Prespa, in Greece. The SPP worked with authorities and organisations in Greece, Albania, the fYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, which in turn mobilised their staff and volunteers for the census. Pelicans were recorded in 98 wetlands in total, providing good coverage of the network of wetlands used by populations of the two species of pelicans in this corner of the world, which is thought to be home to about 50% of the world population of the Dalmatian pelican.

It is important to note that pelicans are the only species whose populations are monitored annually throughout SE Europe, by means of targeted counts of breeding pairs in the colonies in spring and the number of over-wintering individuals. The international census gives a more complete picture of the overall size of the population, which includes both breeding and non-breeding individuals, as well as immature birds.

Such an ambitious undertaking could not have been accomplished without the contribution of many participants, which included: the management authorities for 12 national parks in Greece, 1 in Albania, 1 in Montenegro and 1 in Romania; the Natural History Museum of Montenegro; international, national and local environmental NGOs: PPNEA and AOS in Albania, MES in the fYR of Macedonia, Noé from France and the SPP in Greece; four national ornithological organisations: BSPB in Bulgaria, SOR in Romania, CZIP in Montenegro, and HOS in Greece (all Birdlife partners); and lastly the University of Smyrna. Overall, 138 people - personnel from the collaborating organisations together with volunteers - recorded 6,265 Dalmatian pelicans and 22,944 great white pelicans.

In line with what was known until now, the population of the Dalmatian pelican in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea numbered 4,350-4,850 individuals; however the results of the census show that this particular population is now larger. On the one hand this is a very positive point; however, it is not an indication of the trend of the world population, since data on the populations of Central and West Asia are not at all encouraging.

The wetlands of the Balkans act as important refuges for waterbirds, and for pelicans in particular, while at the same time the value of each of them is magnified by their proximity to other wetlands. This is because, although pelicans have their breeding colonies in just 20 or so wetlands in SE Europe and Turkey, they use a much larger number to meet all their needs, especially during the breeding season.

The census has also highlighted the exceptional importance of co-operation and the benefits it offers. It is worth noting that the entire undertaking, which covered tens of thousands of square kilometers and needed to be carried out by cars and boats in most wetlands, and even a light aircraft for the Danube Delta colonies, which span vast areas of inaccessible reedbeds, required minimal financial resources thanks to the involvement of so many enthusiastic birdwatchers.  The need for joint planning for the protection and management of pelicans has long been recognised and has already led to the creation of a collaborative network of authorities and scientists from different countries, which has been exchanging knowledge and data over the last few years.  The census has provided valuable data towards this cause.

You can find the results and the list of participants here and a map of wetlands censused here.

For more information:

Dr. Olga Alexandrou Research and Conservation Sector, Society for the Protection of Prespa, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


1. The census was financially supported by the MAVA foundation. In Greece it was also supported by funds of the 12 Management Bodies of protected areas which participated. In Montenegro the census was financially supported by the CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) under the project "Conservation of Pelicans, a Key Biodiversity Species of Skadar Lake". The census in the Danube Delta was supported by the Danube Delta Biosphere Administration’s funds and implemented by its staff.


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