New transmitters were placed on Dalmatian pelicans at Lake Kerkini
This year’s trip to fit transmitters on Dalmatian pelicans at Lake Kerkini before the breeding season gets underway was successfully carried out as planned! The SPP team placed transmitters on nine of these magnificent wild birds, enabling us to learn more about their movements and the risks they face over their lifetime. This activity was carried out with the support of the Kerkini Branch of the Management Unit for the Protected Areas of Central Macedonia/NECCA, as well as a local boat tour operator.
The team also collected blood samples to check whether the pelicans have antibodies against the avian influenza virus, which caused devastating losses in this iconic species just two years ago, wiping out 60% of the breeding population in Lesser Prespa.
So, what do these transmitters do, and how do they help us? The detailed data they provide help us to better understand the movements of this species and their use of different wetlands as feeding grounds during the breeding season, to study migratory routes and identify less well-known wintering sites, as well as to identify threats and causes of mortality.
The analysis of the data so far has yielded notable results, such as the many long-distance journeys they often make during the breeding season, which have been recorded in detail for the very first time.
Moreover, data analysis highlights the enormous importance for pelicans of the extensive network of wetlands in Northern Greece, as well as the various strategies and use of many different wetlands by individual pelicans.
In addition, for the first time we’ve been able to gather in-depth information on the pelicans’ nocturnal fishing activities. What’s more, a series of threats were also identified, such as poaching and collision with electricity cables.