The Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) belongs to the family Pelecanidae. The Dalmatian pelican species is distributed in Indian Subcontinent, Central Europe, Mediterranean region, Russia, Mongolia and East China.
Taxonomy of Dalmatian pelican
- Scientific Name: Pelecanus crispus
- Common Name: Dalmatian pelican
- French: Pélican frisé; German: Krauskopfpelikan; Spanish: Pelícano ceñudo;
- Other names: Silver pelican;
- Family: Pelecanidae › Pelecaniformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Species author: Bruch, 1832
|Indian birds - Dalmatian pelican - Pelecanus crispus|
DescriptionThe Dalmatian pelican species is a very large bird, measuring 160 to 180 cm in length and weighing 10,000 to 13,000 grams. The wingspan is 300 to 350 cm. The bill is 350 to 450 mm long. The upper parts and tail are chalky, silvery white in the breeding adult pelican. The bare skin around the eyes in yellow to purple. The wings are greyish white with black tips. It has curly nape feathers and grey legs. The gular pouch is orange-red during the breeding season and yellow during non-breeding season.
HabitatThe Dalmatian pelican is found in lakes, rivers, deltas and estuaries. The breeding population prefers water bodies surrounded by reed beds and dense vegetation. The birds under migration prefer large lakes for stopover.
Feeding habitsThese Dalmatian pelican species feed mainly on fish. They also feed on crustaceans and small birds.
BreedingThe breeding season is in March and April. These pelican species are monogamous. The nest is constructed on the ground on plant matter. The nest may also be on floating matter or on small islands to avoid predation.
DistributionThese Dalmatian pelican species breed in Serbia, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran and China. They disperse to Mediterranean region, Iraq, Indian Subcontinent and East China.
Movement PatternsEuropean Dalmatian pelican populations are dispersive and Asian populations are migratory. The southward movement starts from July. The return to breeding grounds is from January onwards.
Status and conservationThe global population of the Dalmatian pelican species is believed to be 10,000-13,900 individual birds. There had been a rapid decline of population in the last three generations. These species are threatened by habitat loss, fishing activity in the feeding grounds, poaching of chicks and eggs, agricultural pollutants and silting up of water bodies. The status of these species is vulnerable.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these pelican species and has listed them as "Vulnerable".
Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pelikaan,_Pelican,_Pelecanidae,_Diergaarde_Blijdorp_Rotterdam,_december_2007.jpg
Author: Pbrundel | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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