Ornis Hungarica. vol.28(1). (2020) p.65-75.
Data on the postbreeding migration of marked Romanian Great White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus Linnaeus, 1758)
Between 1931 and 2018 in the Danube Delta, 1,171 Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus Linnaeus 1758) were ringed (731 with metal rings, 440 with coloured plastic rings) at breeding sites. The majority of the captured birds were flightless young individuals. From the ringed birds, 25 (2.13%) were reported as recaptured. Most were reported from Israel (28%), and the rest from 8 other countries. Recovery distance varied between 50 and 3,000 km. 19 birds (76%) were reported within half year after ringing, 2 birds (8%) within a year, and further 4 individuals (16%) were reported after a year. With the exception of a single photographed individual, all the others perished: they were shot or fell victims to accidents. These cases suggest high mortality in the young age cohort. Very little knowledge is available about the African wintering grounds; there are only two reports from Egypt and one from Southern Sudan. Traditional ringing yields little information for this species. Considerably more exact data could be expected from satellite tracking, use of other modern locating techniques and use of genetic methods. The ringing of nestlings is only possible if we can apply less aggressive methods then used to date. Besides its scientific value, the intense research on the still numerous Great White Pelican population would be justified by the outstanding faunistic, economic and cultural importance of this species.