Turkey will hold its first census of the great white pelicans that annually migrate over the western coast of the country from April 3 to 5 in Bursa province.

The “Karacabey pelican’s census,” hosted by the Bursa Karacabey Municipality in cooperation with the Nature Society, will give insight into the journey of these large birds that migrate over the Uluabat Lake Basin each spring.

Thousands of volunteers will assist in the census, watching the pelican migration with binoculars and telescopes from observation points around the lake.

More than 100 birdwatchers and naturalists are expected to attend the three-day event, some traveling across the country to witness the migration.

Primary school students will also attend the event, which is open to the public and will include educational talks on the importance of protecting the great white pelicans on their difficult annual journey.

“We are aware of and working to take into account the needs of nature and its wildlife, not just the basic needs of the city and its citizens,” Karacabey Mayor Ali Ozkan said ahead of the event.

“As we strive [to protect] nature, it is already paying us back for it. All we have to do is to realize the need and protect nature,” he said, adding that the rich natural resources of the area have drawn many visitors there.

The great white pelican, which breeds throughout southeastern Europe, Asia and Africa, is one of the largest pelican species, measuring 140 to 180 cm (55 to 71 in) in length with a pink and yellow bill 29 to 47 cm (11 to 18.5 in) long. It is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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