On 12 and 13 December 2013, a Workshop was co-organized at Prespa by the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) and the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) with the participation of Management Bodies officers, within the framework of creating national- scale synergies. The main objective was to exchange opinions and to enhance knowledge regarding pelican monitoring methods and data recording, as well as to search ways of responding to threats that pelicans are faced with in every wetland.
Dr. George Catsadorakis, Chair of the IUCN-WI Pelican Specialist Group and Scientific Advisor of the SPP, presented good practices of colonies monitoring and enumeration of pelicans’ nests to the participants, while highlighting the ways of addressing serious threats such as the disturbance affecting the colonies in question.
The Workshop came to its closure with a fruitful discussion on the common planning of monitoring and conservation of pelicans in Greece. A systematic collection of pelican populations monitoring data was decided, among others, with the application of a common method in all areas, as well as the coordination of actions of everyone involved, in order to implement a long pending National Action Plan for the Dalmatian Pelican. Since the discussion included many and perplexed issues that demand systematic cooperation, the stakeholders’ official partnership was considered to be of great significance within the framework of a Cooperation Agreement, which is expected to be implemented within the next months.
Greece is privileged to host the Dalmatian Pelican and the White Pelican, these rare and emblematic bird species, playing a role of international importance, especially as far as the conservation of the former is concerned. Amvrakikos Gulf, Mesolonghi and Porto Lagos lagoons, Vistonis, Karla, Kerkini and Prespa lakes, as well as Acheron and Kalamas rivers’ estuaries, all constitute important areas for pelicans as nesting sites, wintering grounds, or feeding and resting stop-overs during their migration. What should also be mentioned is that Lake Small Prespa hosts the largest colony of Dalmatian Pelicans in the world, with more than 1,100 pairs.