Conservationists at the Prespa wetlands are assessing the impact of recent snow and frost on pelican nests at the national park in northern Greece after an unseasonably warm November and December prompted premature laying.
“During around a decade of milder winters they started coming in February and even January. This year’s first nests appeared in early January and this has us very worried,” says Myrsini Malakou, head of the Society for the Protection of Prespa, adding that March used to be the customary nesting season. “If we get a wave of bad weather, the pelicans have to abandon their nests to search for food.”
Malakou says that of 50 nests recorded initially, just 20 are intact today. “We estimate that just four in 10 hatchlings reach adulthood,” she says, adding that while there are around 1,400 pairs of pelicans in Prespa, the population will start dwindling if more hatchlings don’t make it.