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Pelecanus crispus Romania - Saving Pelecanus crispus in the Danube Delta

LIFE05 NAT/RO/000169


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Grigore BABOIANU
Tel: +40 240 518 945
Fax: +40 240 518 975
Email: arbdd@ddbra.ro



Project description:

Background

Within its entire geographical range, from Balkans to Mongolia, the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List (2004). Its present total breeding population is estimated at 4 000 to 5 000 breeding pairs. The European population of the Dalmatian pelican is crucial for the survival of the species. The two major subpopulations of 700 pairs in Greece and about 400 pairs in Romania are the last remaining strongholds of the species outside the former Soviet Union. In Romania, the Dalmatian pelican breeds in five colonies, all located within the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. The population of the Danube Delta targeted by the project represents 33.5-36.5% of the European population outside the former Soviet Union. The main threats to the species at its breeding sites are disturbances and degradation of its habitats.


Objectives

The main objective of this project was to protect and increase the breeding population of the Dalmatian pelican (Pelicanus crispus) in the Danube delta. The project aimed to increase the number of breeding pairs by 27% so that the population in 2009 would be around 500 pairs.

Specific conservation measures aimed to improve the breeding conditions by ensuring an adequate protection of the breeding sites and eliminating human disturbances and mortality caused by anglers and hunters. Foreseen activities that would address this aim included clear delineation of breeding sites, the use of warning signs, and the training of wardens to deal with illegal intruders. Furthermore, authorities would be urged to regulate fishing and hunting in order to prevent unintentional killings. Power lines would be marked to eliminate mortality due to collision. With the aim of securing the habitats and creating larger breeding areas, the shoreline of the natural islands would be consolidated and artificial structures were planned. Ground predation would be reduced by limiting the access of predators to the sites.

All the six breeding areas were intended to be proposed as Special Protection Areas (SPAs). A comprehensive monitoring programme aimed to provide information on breeding requirements, population size, movements of the Dalmatian pelican, and to monitor the effects of the implemented conservation measures. Furthermore, the species' requirements with regard to water quality and the risk of their contamination with heavy metals would be studied.


Results

The conservation actions of the project contributed directly to the protection of Dalmatian pelican colonies. Constructing additional nests and increasing breeding success has improved the long-term prospects of the bird species. The project achieved the following beneficial outcomes: consolidation of natural islands (Ceaplace); increased area for breeding (Ceaplace); management of reed to ensure larger surface areas (Ceaplace); additional roosting areas (Ceaplace), permanent patrolling and monitoring; and the denial of access to colonies (Rosca–Buhiova, Ceaplace and Lejai).

Specific results of the project include:

    • Stabilised breeding population in three sites, and increased in two (Rosca-Buhaiova and Ceaplace) (In 2009 the highest number of breeding pairs was recorded in the last 10 years on the Ceaplace Island, with an increase of 28% on population size before to the project);
    • Designation of all the six breeding sites as Natura 2000 network SPAs;
    • Creation of additional breeding units through the installation of artificial structures (underwater wood protection wall, 350 m2 fix platform, mobile platforms, fence and warning signs, 150 markers on electric lines). A total of 47 of the planned 50 units had been constructed at the project end;
    • Increase in number of breeding pairs on island, with no human disturbance to the colonies registered and no causalities after the markers installation recorded.

    Due to political, legislative and institutional (Ministry of Environment) instability in Romania, the approval of the main strategic documents for future conservation management is still pending. These included a management plan, designation of the sites as core areas within the Danube Delta and a national action plan. However, the knowledge of wardens and the general public was improved through awareness activities and the production of dissemination materials.

    Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation Plan (see "Read more" section).


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Species - Birds


Keywords

monitoring‚  protected area‚  endangered species


Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)

Target species

 Pelecanus crispus     


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority
Type of organisation Park-Reserve authority
Description The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority (DDBRA), a public institution, is the responsibility of the Romanian ministry of environment and water management. DDBRA, which has 107 full-time employees, was set up to manage of the reserve. Its main objectives are the conservation and protection of the existing natural heritage, the encouragement of sustainable use of the natural resources, and the provision of support, based on the results of research, for management, education, training and services.
Partners Romanian Ornithological Society (SOR), Romania Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), UK

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Project reference LIFE05 NAT/RO/000169
Duration 01-NOV-2005 to 30-SEP -2009
Total budget 656,928.00 €
EU contribution 492,696.00 €
Project location Associated Romania(Romania)

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Read more:

Leaflet Code of practice for the protection of the Dalmati ...
Leaflet Leaflet EN
Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Conservation Plan After-LIFE Conservation Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version