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Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

Foraging close to roosting grounds, the dalmatian pelican fishes in the morning and late afternoon. It may feed alone, or in cooperative groups, sweeping the bill underwater for eels, mullet, gobies, shrimps, worms, beetles, prawns, catfish and other small fish. Whilst swimming, this pelican plunges its head beneath the surface to check for prey. Famous for the large pouch on the throat under the lower half of the bill, the pelican does not always eat as it fishes, instead filling the pouch for later consumption (7). Breeding begins in March and April in the western part of the range, but varies geographically. Nest sites are found in areas with plentiful fish and vegetation, and nests are constructed from reeds, grass, and sticks, fastened together with droppings (7). Between two and four eggs are laid and incubated for 31 days (7) (8). The young pelicans gather in 'pods' after six weeks, and fledge at 75 to 85 days of age (7) (8). They are sexually mature at three to four years (7).

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Source: ARKive

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