Pelecanus crispus

English: Dalmatian Pelican
Russian: Кудрявый пеликан
German: Krauskopfpelikan
French: Pelican frise
Mongolian: Борцгор хотон
Japanese:  ハイイロペリカン (Haiiro-perikan)

Status: Very rare species. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Threatened Species categories and criteria, the species evaluated as Critically Endangered.

Distribution and Range: Distribution is limited from the Yellow river west to the Balkan Peninsula, from the Persian Gulf to Khar Lake in the Kustanai Region. Winters in Iraq, Persian Gulf, Egypt, India and south east China. In Mongolia: Khar Us Lake is the species nesting habitat. Migrating birds can be seen in open steppe in saline lakes, i.e., the Valley of the Lakes, the Zavkhan River and the Great Lakes Depression; non-breeding adults and immature birds have been recorded on the Uvs, Khyargas, Bayan and Ogii Lakes.

Habitat: It breeds by large stretches of water, in drier raised areas in reed beds. Nests in the catchment areas of rivers and lakes that have abundant fish and vegetation. By October the bird family leaves the breeding site for wintering grounds.

Population and threats: There are 3200-4300 Dalmatian Pelicans throughout the world. In the summer of 1956 over 300 were recorded on Shuvuun Tsuglaan, Khar US Lake; only 207 were counted in 1972 and 13 in 1981. In 1976, 10 were counted on Kyrgas and 13 on Oigon Lake. In the autumn of 1979, 50 were counted on Kholbooj Lake, Bayankhongor. One was recorded on Uvs Lake in 1985. The latest unpublished data indicates that there are now about 200 Pelicans in Mongolia. However, since 2000 population has been declining drastically, from 2005 Pelicans started coming back in small numbers to its breeding and nesting habitat. In June 2010, 120-150 birds were recorded on the Tsagaan River islands of the Khar Us Lake. High fluctuations in the Lake water level, degradation of the breeding sites, i.e., the island and lake shorelines’ reduce nesting success, leading to destruction of eggs, with Nests for abandoned for long periods of time, when disturbed, leaving the eggs and young fledgelings open to predators such as gulls and foxes. Local tradition of using pelican beaks to make horse sweat scrapers, maybe dwindling the pelican population, might bring it to its extinction.

Conservation Measures: Hunting of this species was prohibited since 1953. Listed as very rare animal in the Mongolian Law on Fauna, included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Annex I, Convention on migratory Species (CMS) Annex I and II in the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat (RAMSAR), Khar Us Lake, Orog Lake, Buir Lake, and their surrounding wetlands are RAMSAR sites, included also in the Mongolian Red Book (1987, 1997). Distribution area is partially included within the Uvs Lake Basin Strictly Protected Area, and the Khar Us Lake National Park.

Further Action: Main habitat area, nesting habitat protection especially during breeding season, intensify enforcement and monitoring efforts; prohibit future manufacturing of horse sweat scraper from pelican beaks, employ cooperative conservation methods of natural resource management within distribution area and involve local participation in conservation efforts, put a stop to poaching, organize works in reducing and stopping degradation of the Lakes shorelines, and raise awareness.