At the end of last year (December 2019), during the routine field-monitoring visit at Divjaka-Karavasta National Park, the Albanian Ornithological Society field-team observed the first signs of the breeding season within the colony of the Dalmatian Pelicans. Orange-red pouch, curly feathers and the presence of several specimens in the Pelican Island warned us that the breeding season was soon approaching.
In response to the signal given from “Pelicans’ red alert pouches”, AOS started immediately implementing the continuous conservation measures including:
- rehabilitation of the Dalmatian Pelicans’ breeding beds,
- night wardening of the Dalmatian Pelican colony,
- continuous monitoring of the number of breeding pairs and the productivity of the colony calculated as the number of fledgeling offspring per number of breeding pairs and
- several activities for raising awareness on the conservation efforts for the Dalmatian Pelicans and Divjaka-Karavasta National Park
Rehabilitation of the Dalmatian Pelicans’ breeding beds
A joint team of AOS, RAPA Fier and local supporters worked on the rehabilitation of nesting beds of the Dalmatian Pelican, the flagship species of the National Park and Divjaka Municipality. (read more in previous articles)
Night wardening of the Dalmatian Pelican colony
Local AOS caretakers are guarding the Pelicans’ colony by night to prevent any sort of human disturbance causing the abandonment of the breeding activity.
Continuous monitoring of the Dalmatian Pelicans’ colony
A joint team of AOS and Regional Administration of Protected Areas Fier has been engaged in monitoring with the help of an online camera, aerial drone pictures and direct observations of the number of breeding pairs and the productivity of the colony calculated as the number of fledgeling offsprings per number of breeding pairs.
By the end of January, the breeders had laid eggs and had begun incubation. The latest direct observation, conducted during the third week of February 2020, revealed very positive indicators for this breeding season. All three sub-breeding beds built by the end of December 2019 are occupied by circa 80 breeding pairs, the highest figure recorded in the last 25 years in Divjaka-Karavasta.
Raising awareness on the conservation efforts for the Dalmatian Pelicans and Divjaka-Karavasta National Park
AOS team is working closely with the local and national community to bring the spotlight to the rarest and one of the biggest birds of Europe, Dalmatian Pelican. Besides, AOS field-ornithologists are providing educational talks and birdwatching, focused on the colony of Dalmatian Pelicans at Divjaka-Karavasta National Park.
Meanwhile, a bird friendly (bird hide) is under construction within the park, as a potential and attractive point for ornithological educational purposes and the visitors. Soon, we will reveal more details!
Finally, we are hopeful that this breeding season will bring better news than last year! However, it is still early and difficult to predict the final results. For further updates on the breeding season of the colony of the Dalmatian Pelicans, stay with AOS!
The monitoring of the breeding season of the Dalmatian Pelicans colony supported by CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) within the framework of ‘Let’s make Divjaka Natural Again’ project in collaboration with PSEDA-Iliria and ResPublica.