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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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Tuesday 21 November 2017, 11:14

Simultaneous south eastern European Pelican Census for a second time Print E-mail

119 wetlands and 8 countries in 1 afternoon – the 2nd Pelican census covered all of SE Europe, Ukraine and Turkey

 Friday 13 October 2017

The 2nd SE European pelican census was conducted last May on the 6th on a single-afternoon simultaneous count in seven countries in SE Europe, Ukraine and Turkey, as well as in the part of the transboundary Great Prespa Lake belonging to an eighth country, the fYR of Macedonia. Ukraine has been the new entry in this year’s census.



This international census involved the two pelican species, the globally endangered Dalmatian pelican (DP) and the great white pelican (GWP). It has been an initiative of and was coordinated by the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP), an environmental NGO based in Agios Germanos, Prespa, in Greece and was accomplished thanks to the collaboration of various organisations and individuals  from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, the fYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.

Pelicans were recorded in 119 wetlands in total, this representing a good coverage of the network of wetlands used by  the two species of pelicans in this corner of the world, which is thought to be home to about 50% of the global population of the Dalmatian pelican.

It is important to note that pelicans are among the few 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.

This ambitious task was carried out with the contribution of various participants, which included: the Management Authorities of 20 protected areas, 4 public institutions and 12 environmental NGOs of which 7 are BirdLife partners. Overall, 157 people -personnel from the collaborating organisations together with volunteers- recorded 5,617 DPs and 37,334 GWPs. These numbers represent a 10% decrease for the DP compared with the data collected in the 2016 census and a 63% increase for the GWP. It is important to note that only 9% of the GWP increase is attributed to the new entries from Ukraine, i.e. the GWPs counted there and added to the total this year, unlike last year. The impressive 53.5% increase -when removing Ukrainian GWPs- is ascribed to the increase of the Romanian population which exhibits a huge escalation but the reasons for this are not well understood.

The western (Adriatic–Ionian) DP populations which form a distinct meta-population showed a slight increase of 12% compared to last year and accounted for 16% of the total number in 2017, when in 2016 it represented 13% of the total DPs counted in SE Europe.

The census has once again highlighted the exceptional importance of the collaborative network of authorities and scientists from different countries that has been created in the past few years. Such invaluable simultaneous data can be gathered only through extensive international collaborations. It is worth noting that this activity 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 volunteers.

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

The need for joint planning for the protection and management of pelicans has long been recognised and through the impetus of actions like the SE European census we will hopefully arrive at more concrete actions such as the ones included in the recently submitted LIFE Nature project proposal entitled “Conservation of the Dalmatian pelican along the Black Sea / Mediterranean flyway” encompassing actions to be implemented in Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Greece.

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

 

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