Great White Pelican

 Great White Pelican

  • It is a bird in the pelican family.
  • It is also known as the eastern white pelican, rosy pelican or white pelican.


Geographic distribution

  • It is mainly found in southeastern Europe, Asia and Africa.



  • Northern populations of this species are fully migratory and travel via important stop-over sites. Other populations are sedentary, dispersive or nomadic, flying over land to seek suitable feeding locations.
  • The species nests in large colonies of 200 to 40,000 pairs.
  • It usually fishes in flocks of 8-12 individuals and migrates in large flocks of 50-500 individuals. The species regularly flies long distances from breeding or roosting colonies to feed, mostly fishing in the early-morning and early-evening.



  • The species is associated with relatively large, warm, shallow fresh, brackish, alkaline or saline lakes, lagoons, marshes, broad rivers, deltas, estuaries and coasts of landlocked seas.
  • The species requires secure areas of extensive wet swamps, mudflats and sandbanks or gravel and rocky substrates for nesting.



  • The species is entirely piscivorous, preferentially taking fish of between 300 and 600 g in weight.



The species is threatened by:

  1. Habitat destruction through drainage
  2. Divergence of rivers for irrigation, agriculture development and industry
  3. Floods leading to the inundation of nesting sites
  4. Persecution
  5. Hunting for sport because of its (minimal) depredation of fish from fish-farms
  6. Collisions with electric power lines during migration
  7. Pesticides
  8. Heavy metal contamination


Conservation Actions

The species is listed under:

  • Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species
  • Appendix II of the Bern Convention
  • Annex I of the Birds Directive
  • In its European range, it occurs within 43 Important Bird Areas.
  • In the EU, it is listed within 108 Special Protection Areas.
    It has been rated as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red list of Endangered Species.
  • It is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds is applied.


Kolleru Lake

  • It is the largest freshwater lake and is located in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is located between Krishna and Godavari delta and covers an area of 308 km².
  • The lake serves as a natural flood-balancing reservoir for these two rivers.
  • The lake is fed directly by water from the seasonal Budameru and Tammileru streams and is connected to the Krishna and Godavari systems by over 68 inflowing drains and channels.
  • It serves as a habitat for migratory birds.
  • It supports the livelihood of fishermen and riparian population in the area.
  • The lake was notified as a wildlife sanctuary in November 1999 under India’s Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • It has been designated as a wetland of international importance in November 2002 under the international Ramsar Convention.
Section : Environment & Ecology