Donetsk, May 24 – DAN. Dalmatian pelicans (Pelecanus crispus), a vulnerable Indo-European species, have returned to the DPR natural reserve Khomutovskaya Steppe this year.

Called Wench-bird in Russian and Ukrainian, this huge bird is one of the largest living bird species. Its European population amounts to approximately 1,500 birds. The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies to the Dalmatian pelicans.

In the region limited by Don and Danube Deltas, these birds nest only on the natural reserve territory, at the Krivaya Kosa sandspit.

Other birds included in the regional Red Book have also been spotted in the natural reserve, she told Donetsk News Agency.

Last year, two rare demoiselle cranes paired up and hatched chicks for the first time in decades in the Khomutovskaya Steppe wildlife refuge.

The Khomutovskaya Steppe natural reserve is located in the Novoazovsk region of the DPR, its protected biosphere area constitutes 50 percent of the DPR total reserve lands. Khomutovskaya Steppe covers more than 18,000 ha, 7,746 of them are in the Azov seawaters. It contains more than 600 varieties of steppe plants including rare and endemic plants; dozens of mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish species live there, as well as 1,500 insect species. *ot