The Divjaka-Karavasta National Park in Albania cooperated with a number of NGOs to link the celebration of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day with Pelican’s Day and a local products fair. The aim of the event was to raise awareness about the importance of the conservation of the National Park and its flagship species – the Dalmatian pelican. NGOs such as Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), the Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania (INCA), Noe Conservation (Noé) and the Nature Foundation Euronatur organized the World Migratory Bird Day activities.
The event in the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park started with an opening ceremony where speakers such as government officials and representatives from NGOs highlighted the importance of the conservation of the Dalmatian Pelican for the people. A fair was organised, where farmers, restaurants and other producers presented their local products. School children of Divjaka high school and elementary school as well as students from different universities participated in bird-watching activities and learned about the Dalmatian pelican.
More than 300 individuals participated. Different media were present and reported about the various activities that took place throughout the day.
The Dalmatian pelican depends on the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park with the Karavasta lagoon being the only breeding site for the species. The Karavasta lagoon – or the Pelican’s Island as local residents call it – has been a breeding site for a long time for a high number of Pelicans. Since the 80s, however, their population has declined from 250 to only 35 breeding pairs. One of the biggest threats to the species is human disturbance. Awareness-raising about the importance of the Pelican for the biodiversity of the region and of the Pelican’s island as a breeding site is, therefore, key to the conservation of the species.
Beside the activities in the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park, Pelican’s day turned into a regional celebration reaching beyond the Albanian border to Montenegro for example. The first Pelican’s Day was organized in 2015. In order to strengthen conservation activities for the species the organizers plan to establish Pelican’s Day in the region as a yearly event.
Did you know that the Dalmatian pelican eats 1,2 kg fish per day? Learn more about the Dalmatian Pelican here