The plan to save the giant pelicans of Skadar Lake

Dalmatian pelicans are the largest species of pelican, and one of the largest flying birds in the world. But one of their most important colonies is under threat

Skadar Lake is the biggest freshwater body in the Balkans. Shared between Montenegro and Albania, it hosts the westernmost breeding colony of the endangered Dalmatian pelican.

This colony has struggled for decades due to the floods and human disturbance that were severely affecting the breeding success of the birds.

In 2013, a collaborative team of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) grantees led by the French NGO Noe Conservation started a project to restore the balance.

The team's actions included: creating floating rafts for the pelicans to nest on, as a way to mitigate the effect of flooding; increasing ranger patrols to avoid disturbance of the colony during the breeding season; and educating local fishermen to strengthen their sense of ownership and responsibility for the lake and the pelicans.

This film was shot by the team of The Living Med, an initiative that aims to further biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean Basin by using visual storytelling to raise awareness about its unique values and threats.