Pelecanus crispus

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Rare and Endangered Animals of Armenia

The Dalmatian Pelican

The Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is a member of the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia to China in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation.

This is a large pelican, at 170 cm length and with a 3 m wingspan. It differs from the White Pelican in that it has curly nape feathers, grey legs and greyish-white (rather than pure white plumage). It has a red lower mandible in the breeding season. Immatures are grey and lack the pink facial patch of immature White Pelicans. The latter also has darker flight feathers.

This pelican migrates short distances. In flight, it is an elegant soaring bird, with the flock moving in synchrony. The neck is then held back like a heron's.

As is well known, pelicans catch fish in their huge bill pouches, most, like this species, while swimming at the surface.

Like the White Pelican, this species has declined greatly through habitat loss and persecution.

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Animal in Armenia

Գանգրափետուր հավալուսն ("Gangrapetur havalusn")


Rare species. Included in the Red Book of the former USSR.

Habitat in Armenia

Can be met around Lake Sevan during flights, near villages Norashen and Lichk. Can be met around Lake Arpa the summer time.

Number in the wild

30 – 40 species can be met near Lake Arpa in the summer time, and 50 – 80 species around Lake Sevan in the flight periods.

Reasons for decrease in number

The number has actually increased due to the food available for these birds.

Number in captivity

Can be met in a number of zoos of the world. In the Yerevan zoo there were 32 species according to the data of 1976.

Measures of protection taken

Hunting is forbidden all over the country and former Soviet Union. Included in the Appendix 2 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

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