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‘Stranded’ rosy pelicans transferred from Cyprus to Greece’s Lake Kerkini

December 6, 2019 at 3:58pm
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Two young rosy pelicans that failed to complete their migration and became “stranded” in Cyprus were transferred by plane to Kerkini Lake in  northern Greece a few days ago, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency reports.

Kerkini Lake is one of Europe’s most important wetlands and a top European bird watching destination.

The birds were accompanied by two representatives of the Fauna Department of the Interior Ministry of Cyprus and were released near the pelicans’ rest islet in Lithotopos, Kerkini. .

“The rosy pelicans are migratory, gregarious birds and possibly the two pelicans were worn out by the journey because of their young age and got left behind, finding refuge in a small lake in Cyprus,” the general coordinator of Lake Kerkini management agency Theodoros Naziridis explained to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

The scientists decided it was necessary to transfer the birds to a wetland and finally, they were transferred and released at Kerkini, where they ‘met’ other birds of their species.

“Even though the migration period has ended, there are still many rosy pelicans in Kerkini as well as hundreds of Dalmatian pelicans that live in Kerkini. We will monitor the two young pelicans as they are easily distinguishable by the plastic rings that have been placed around their feet and in the spring we will wait for them to migrate to breeding sites, such as the Danube River and Prespa Lake”, said Naziridis.

About 300 bird species have been observed at Lake Kerkini: some of them nestle, some winter, others stop over for rest or food. Among them, the Pelican and the Pygmy Cormorant are threatened with extinction. The area is also one of the most important cormorants’ and herons’ colonies of the Northern Balkan Peninsula.