Migration of eastern sub population of Dalmatian Pelican Pelicanus crispus from Mongolia
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Dalmatian Pelican Pelicanus crispus is listed as Globally Vulnerable and Regionally Critically Endangered by IUCN criteria (IUCN, 2011). One of the most threatened waterbird populations in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway requiring urgent conservation actions by Mongolia and China. Dalmatian Pelican used to breed in the Lakes of Great Depression, such as Khar-Us, Airag, Khyargas, but last 20 years the population has decreased dramatically and it currently breeds only in small numbers at Lake Khar Us, western Mongolia. Therefore, Khar Us lake is the only breeding site for the East Asian population. Researchers assessed the number of Dalmatian Pelican in Mongolia is about 110-120 individuals (MBCC unpublished report 2020). During the last 10 years, conservation organizations in Mongolia have been actively involved and working towards surveying to estimate the population, breeding biology, and reducing the negative impact on the breeding population of the species. The East Asian population of Dalmatian Pelican breeds in western Mongolia and spends the non-breeding period along the East China coast in winter. However, the migration survey of the Dalmatian Pelican hasn’t been conducted until now.
This is a joint shared project of Mongolian Bird Conservation Center, Hangzhou Yuehai Technology Co., Ltd, and a Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, China, under the agreement on banding and satellite telemetry of migratory natatorial bird species. Within the frame of this agreement MBCC, Khar Us Lake National Park and WWF Mongolia Program contracted and conducted “The survey of Dalmatian Pelican population and migration” in July 2020.
A survey was conducted in July under the tracking permission from the Environment and Nature Resources Department of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia. By the end of July 2020, we tracked 2 young Dalmatian Pelican from Khar Us Lake. They started their migration by early October and currently, they are resting at the stop oversite of the Bay of Bohai Sea, China. By knowing the migration route of the East Asian rare pelican, which is only about 100 individuals left, it is very important for enhanced collaboration of researchers and rangers of the 2 countries and also further conservation management action plans.