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Acrocephal 41 us (184/185): 25–30, 2020 10.2478/acro-2020-0002 in central Asia, in northern Europe and North The Goosander America. In Europe, it is usually wintering further Mergus merganser range south reaching the coastal areas of the Middle East, Turkey and GreeS cc e ( ott & Rose 1996, Birdlife expansion on the Balkan International 2018). Five species populations Peninsula and a new breeding are recognized: two small resident populations in population in Bulgaria Iceland and in the Ba l kans, and three main wintering groups (northwest and central Europe, the Black Širjenje populacije velikega žagarja Sea and Southwest As Sic aot ) (t & Rose 1996). e N Th orth-east Europe/Black Sea species wintering Mergus merganser na Balkanskem population that includes Bulgaria is poorly studied polotoku in nova gnezdeča populacija and estimated at 1000 individuals recently with v Bolgariji unknown trenSd c ( ott & Rose 1996, BirdLife International & Wetlands International 2020). In Bulgaria, the Goosander could have been 1 2 usually observed in small numbers during winter Dobromir Dobrev , Borislav Borisov , 1 1 Vladimir Dobrev , Volen Arkumarev , along the Black Sea coastal area, the Danube River 3 1 valley and, to a lesser extent, in the inner part of the Ivaylo Angelov , Stoycho Stoychev country B ( unarco 2009, Nankinov et al. 1997). e o Th rigin of these wintering birds is probably Bulgarian society for the protection of birds, Yavorov l.q., 71, BG–1111 Sofia, Bulga ria, from western SiberSica ( ott & Rose 1996). e–mail: dobromir.dobrev1@gmail .com, European southernmost breeding population of the email@example.com om, Goosander is found in the Balkans. This isolated volen.arkumarev@gmail .com, resident population with 11–32 p Sc aot irs ( t & firstname.lastname@example.org Rose 1996) breeds at Lake Prespa, Greece and BG–6300 Haskovo, Bulgar ia, North МacedonCa ia ( tsadorakis et al. 2016). e–mail: email@example.com It was found in the 1930s and is presumed to be BG–6486 Gorno Pole, Madzharovo, Haskovo, B ulgaria, e–mail: firstname.lastname@example.org isolated from other populations of the species in central Europ He ( andrinos & Akriotis 1997, e G Th oosander Mergus merganser was not recorde Ca d tsadorakis et al. 2016). However, there breeding in Bulgaria till recently. We p hars b esen eetn n o published confirmed data on the herewith the very first record of the species b Gr o eo es da in ng de r breeding in Bulgaria so far. According in the country and estimate the size of its b to t reeh de E ing u ropean atlas of breeding birds, the species population in Bulgaria. Thus, we propose a chanig s e i br n e eding in tiny isolated populations in Albania its status in the country with more eo ff rt to be i an nd Gr vestee d e ce in the Balkans. In the 20th century, in the survey of this small, isolated populatih oo nw . ever, breeding of the species was recorded in Key-words: waterfo,w bl reeding, locality, Eastc ee rn n tral and eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, in R hodopes northern Montenegro and southeastern Romania. In Serbia, the species was first recorded in the Introduction 1980s; later it expanded to several lakes in the western part of the country along the border with e G Th oosander Mergus merganser is a polytypic, B osnia and Herzegov M in arin a ( ković et al. 2008). Holarctic species that has an extremely laIr n S ge r loavn eg ne ia , the Goosander population increased across Europe, Asia and North Am Vo er o is c 1 a 9( 61, from about 4 breeding pairs in 1995 to 85–110 in Scott & Rose 1996, Birdlife International 2017, marking apparent population increase in this 2018). The European population is estimate cd o untry as wBasl ell (e 2019). Despite this, Bulgaria at 66.800–103.000 pairs or 134.000–206.000 was not included in the breeding range within this mature individua We ls ( tlands International regionS ( cott & Rose 1996, Marti & Lammi 2018). The Goosander is a year-round breede 1997 r ). An expansion of the Goosander started in 25 D. Dobrev, B. Borisov, V. Dobrev, V. Arkumarev, I. Angelov, S. Stoychev: The Goosander Mergus merganser range expansion on the Balkan Peninsula and a new breeding population in Bulgaria Figure 1: Distribution of the Goosander observations in Bulgaria within the breeding season Slika 1: Razširjenost opazovanj velikega žagarja v Bolgariji v času gnezditvene sezone the neighbouring region of the Carpath rieacnos at rds i n Bulgaria between 1990 and 2020 at the the same time. Тhe species was found breedo in ng i lin ne database of the Bulgarian Society for the several countries in the region – Poland, S Plr o o vt aek cit ai, on of BiP ropg ds (eorgiev et al. 2015) and Ukraine and RomanK ia ajt ( och & Bobrek 2014). non-published sources of information. We then We present herewith the first breeding rceat coergd orized each observation based on t - he classi of the Goosander in Bulgaria from an isolat ficat ed s ion o ite f Hagemejer & Blair (1997). We used in the Eastern R hodopes. We also review t - he b UT rM g eedrid 10x10 km using the MGRS naming of ing occurrences in Bulgaria and assess the s cel pl es ( ciU esT ’ M zone 35N, datum WGS 1984) to mark national population size and range. the breeding distribution of the species according to the criteria in Bulgaria (Figure 1). Methods Results and discussion The Goosander breeding season covers variable periods in the different populations and th Iu n t s his period, we made 42 records of the species migratory and breeding cycles along thoe ccru arnrgee nce during the breeding season (Figure 1, may overla (K p eller 2009). However, in southerT na ble 1). In total, 33 out of them were from the Europe the incubation starts in the last 1 Ea0 d stearyn R s hodopes and the rest from the Danube of March and the breeding season is preR su ivmeerd , the Black Sea coast and the inner part of to last until Ju Ca ly ( tsadorakis et al. 2016). the country. The first record of breeding Go - osand Based on this information we reviewed the s er i pen B cies ulgaria dates back to 1999, when a female 26 Acrocephal 41 us (184/185): 31–32 , 2020 & Wetlands International 2020) and were recorded only in March. We thus presume that the breeding there is unlikely. For example, the area of Burgas Lakes and the Black Sea coast is extensively monitored within the framework of different biodiversity conservation projects and tens of birdwatchers visit it yearly. Moreover, the typical breeding Balkan flyway population exhibits completely different breeding pattern by occupying inland lakes and water bodies, rather than rivers and coastS sc (ott & Rose 1996). Therefore, we consider the breeding of the species would not have remained unnoticed there and we suggest the breeding in these squares is unlikely. We do not exclude incidental or Figure 2: The nest found in 2020, marked by red arrow sporadic breeding of single pairs in those or other suitable areas in Bulgaria, but additional monitoring Slika 2: Gnezdo, najdeno v letu 2020, označeno z effort is needed. For example, a pair of Goosanders rdečo puščico was observed at Smirnenski dam and unsuccessful breeding attempt was suspe Sc hur ted ( ulinkov et with a brood of 9 chicks was observed at Ka al r.d 2z 0h 18 a)l . H i owever, the data up to now shows that dam (LG51) in the Eastern Rhodopes. Three yeat rh s e breeding records with the highest degree of later, 12 juveniles were recorded again at t ce h r e s taa im nt e y (criteria “ H C age ”) ( mejer & Blair 1997) location. Between 1999 and 2020 we registe ar re e r d 5 estricted to the Eastern Rhodopes only (Figure broods of chicks in total in the Eastern Rh 1) o . H do ep n ec se . , our data is similar to other countries in The last observation of a brood of chicks it n t he hre egion where the species breeding populations area was made in June 2017, when at leas -t 8 j ar u e l veocated in mountainous regions as glacial relicts. niles were observed (Table 1). We assume the b We ir bd es lieve that the species is expanding in suitable were nesting in the numerous cavities and icn rlea vn id m ces ountainous water habitats, as already along the vertical cliffs and brinks of the Br oe rv o e v a il te sd b a y other stu M darin ies (ković et al. 2008, River and/or Kardzhali dam. In 2020, a nest w Kela ler s 2009, Catsadorakis et al. 2016). found in this kind of habitat along the BoroBvais te sd o a n our data, we conclude that at least River estuary at Kardzhali dam (LG52) (Fig4 u– r7 p es 2 airs breed in LG51, LG52 and LG42 and & 3). The breeding pairs in Bulgaria are most lip ko es ls y ibly 2–3 pairs in the Studen kladenets area related to the Balkan breeding populatioin o n Lf t G71 h, L e G80 and LG90. We presume that the species. The breeding cluster in our study a- rea n pat ro ib onal breeding population is currently restricted ably resulted from an expansion of this popt u o lat thie E on astern Rhodopes with a size of 6–10 pairs. in the 90s. The distance to the nearest nei-ghb To o uo rur knowledge, these are the first proven cases ing breeding cluster of this population fro of t m Lh ae s ke pecies breeding according to the highest Prespa is more than 350 km. degree of certainty in Bulgaria. Considering that In 2019, at least one pair at Studen klade thn e o ets bservations of pairs in the Studen kladenets dam (some 30–40 km eastеrly) was suspectea d t rea h o ave been made only in the last two years, this breed in this new territory (Figure 1). may indicate a further expansion of the species Furthermore, we made few observations i ra n t ngh e i e n the Eastern Rhodopes in recent years. The breeding season at the Black Sea coast, the D first b anu rb ee ed ing record in Bulgaria accords with the River and in inland Bulgaria (Table 1, Figu rr eg e 1 is)t. ered increase of the Goosander population However, all these observations remaine in t d shoe n le;e ighbouring reg K io ajt ns ( och & Bobrek they were registered within the north-east 2014 Eu) ro . H pe/ owever, this expansion most probably Black Sea population wintering range of thc e o sn pc ec er ie n ss t he Central Europe flyway population of (Scott & Rose 1996, BirdLife International the species that is sedentary and most likely does 27 D. Dobrev, B. Borisov, V. Dobrev, V. Arkumarev, I. Angelov, S. Stoychev: The Goosander Mergus merganser range expansion on the Balkan Peninsula and a new breeding population in Bulgaria Table 1: Goosander observations in Bulgaria during the 1990–2020 period Tabela 1: Opazovanja velikih žagarjev v Bolgariji med letoma 1990 in 2020 Month / Year / Number of indivudu o ar p ls airs / Mesec Leto Število osebkov ali parov Region / Regija July 1999 1 female + 9 chic / 1 s ks amica + 9 mladičev Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi September 2002 12 chick / 1 s 2 mladičev Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi June 2007 2 males + 2 femal / 2 essamca + 2 samici Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2008 1 bird / 1 ptica Inland Bulga / o ria srednja Bolgarija March 2008 1 male / 1 samec Inland Bulga / o ria srednja Bolgarija June 2008 1 bird / 1 ptica Danube R ive /r reka Donava May 2009 17 birds / 17 ptic Danube R ive /r reka Donava March 2010 1 bird / 1 ptica Black Sea Coast / obala Črnega morja April 2011 2 bird / s 2 ptici Inland Bulga / o ria srednja Bolgarija May 2014 1 female + 5 chic / 1 s ks amica + 5 mladičev Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2014 1 female / 1 samica Black Sea Coast / obala Črnega morja April 2015 1 pair / 1 par Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2015 1 pair / 1 par Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2015 1 bird / 1 ptica Black Sea Coast / obala Črnega morja April 2012 1 pair / 1 par Inland Bulga / o ria srednja Bolgarija May 2017 1 male / 1 par Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2017 2 bird / s 2 ptici Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi June 2017 9 bird / s 9 ptic Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi June 2017 3 bird / s 3 ptice Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi May 2017 1 male / 1 samec Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi May 2017 1 bird / 1 ptica Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2017 3 female / 3 s s amice Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2017 1 male / 1 samec Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi June 2017 1 female + 2 chic / 1 s ks amica + 2 mladiča Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi June 2017 1 female + 8 chic / 1 s ks amica + 8 mladičev Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi May 2017 1 bird / 1 ptica Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2018 1 female / 1 samica Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2018 2 pairs / 2 para Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi May 2018 3 bird / s 3 ptice Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi May 2018 1 bird / 1 ptica Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2019 1 female / 1 samica Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2019 1 male / 1 samec Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi May 2019 1 female / 1 samica Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2019 1 male / 1 samec Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2019 2 bird / s 2 ptici Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi 28 Acrocephal 41 us (184/185): 31–32 , 2020 Continuation of Table 1 / Nadaljevanje tabele 1 Month / Year / Number of indivudu o ar p ls airs / Mesec Leto Število osebkov ali parov Region / Regija May 2019 2 bird / s 2 ptici Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2019 2 female / 2 s s amici Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2019 1 male / 1 samec Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2020 1 female / 1 samica Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2020 3 pair / 3 p s ari Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi March 2020 3 female / 3 s s amice Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi April 2020 2 females + 1 ma / 2 s le amici + 1 samec Eastern R hodo / p V eszhodni Rodopi not occur as south as in the Eastern Rha ovdooipde esd. . Based on the 1% threshold level of the e Th refore, the species could have settled iC n t 6 C hrei teria for designation of Ramsar Sites, the Eastern Rhodopes as a result of the Goos ba rn ee de dr in ’s g p opulation in the Eastern R hodopes forms Balkan population range expansion in th a s e 9 ig0ns.i c fi ant part of the Balkan flyway management e G Th oosander Balkan population numbers o un nl iy t and protection measures to secure species and its 11–32 breeding pairs ( Scott & Rose 1996). habitats persistence should be conducted at a place. e Th refore, the population breeding in the EaIs n r ter en sp ect to the survey efforts, it is well documented Rhodopes forms a signic fi ant part of this t that m iny ales from the Alpine and Northern European flyway population and it should be treated as p po apr u t o lat f ions tend to move hundreds of kilometres the Balkan fly way management unit. Conseque tn ot mou ly, lt Litt ( le & Furness 1985, Keller 2009) a special monitoring effort has to be conduc at ned t d ih nu s more precise monitoring on this issue is order to better estimate its size. Thus, all bra el es do r inge quired. In conclusion to our observations, pairs should be recorded, and details on s we p pec rioepso se BUNARCO to include the Goosander ecology and phenology will be revealed e in t nth ire l ely is. t of the breeding bird species in Bulgaria Furthermore, the monitoring counts hava e t nd o b to e u pdate it according to this new information. performed exclusively in the breeding sea Csoonn i side n ring that the breeding population in the April–July and in a wider range, so that d Eao su tb el re n R hodopes forms 1% or more of the Balkan counts of males and non-breeding individuflyaw la s a y p reo pulation, we recommend an update Figure 3. Two male and three female birds on the bank of the reservoir in LG51 in March 2013 Slika 3: Dva samca in tri samice na nabrežju zadrževalnika v LG51, marca 2013 29 D. Dobrev, B. Borisov, V. Dobrev, V. Arkumarev, I. Angelov, S. Stoychev: The Goosander Mergus merganser range expansion on the Balkan Peninsula and a new breeding population in Bulgaria Keller V. (2009): The Goosander Mergus merganser of the Natura 2000 standard data forms for the population breeding in the Alps and its connections following SPAs (special protected areas): Dobrostan to the rest of Europe. – Wildfowl 2: 60–73. (BG0002073), Studen kladenets (BG0002013) and Kostadinova I., Gramatikov M. (2007): Important Most Arda (BG00020171). Inclusion of the species bird areas in Bulgaria and Natura 2000. – Bulgarian within the list of priority species for conservation society for the protection if birds, Conservation in these SPAs will ensure legal protection of the series, book 11, BSPB, Sofia. Goosander and its habitats at these sites. Little B., Furness R.W. (1985): Long distance moult migration by British Goosa M ne d re gu rs s merganser. – R inging & Migration 6: 77–82. Acknowledgments: We would like to express Marinkovic S., Skoric S., Popovic Z., Nikcevic our gratitude to Georgi Popgeorgiev for the data M. (2008): Research on longterm colonization of base export and Yordan Hristov and Vla-dimir Tri GoosandeM r ergus merganser Linnaeus, 1758 with fonov for their observations input to it. reference to habitat availability. – Archiv - es of Biolog ical Science Belgrade 60: 501–506. Marti C. & Lammi E. (1997): The goosander Mergus Povzetek merganser. pp. 126 – 127 In: Hagemeijer W. J. M., Blair M. J. (eds): The EBCC Atlas of European Gnezdenje velikega žag Me arrjga us merganser v Breeding Birds - their distribution and abundance. – Bolgariji ni bilo zabeleženo vse do pred kratkim. T & AD Poyser, London. S člankom predstavljamo prvo potrjeno gnezdenje Nankinov D., Simeonov S., Michev T., Ivanov B. (1997): Fauna Bulgarica, Aves II, vol.26, Sofia. (in te vrste v državi in podajamo oceno njene gnezdeče Bulgarian) populacije. Predlagamo spremembo statusa vrste v Popgeorgiev G., Spasov S., Korniliev Y. (2015): državi ob hkratnem povečanju naporov pr - i razisko SmartBirds – Information system with biological vanju te male, izolirane populacije. information, BSPB. – http://www.smartbirds.org Assessed on 25.3.2020. References Scott D.A., Rose P.M. (1996): Atlas of Anatidae P - op ulations in Africa and Western Eurasia. Wetlands Basle T. (2019): Veliki žaga M r ergus merganser. pp. 82– International Publication No. 41, Wetlan- ds Interna 83. In: Mihelič T., Kmecl P., Denac K., Koce U., tional, Wageningen, The Netherlands. Vrezec A., Denac D. (eds.): Atlas ptic Slovenije. Po S p hur is ulinkov P., Daskalova G., Kirov D., Borisov gnezdilk 2002–2017. – DOPPS, Ljubljana. B., Spasov L., Ralev A., Stoev I. Mechev A. (2018): BirdLife International (2018): Mergus merganser. Avifauna of ‘bulgarka’ nature park (Bulgaria) with The IUCN Red list of threatened species 2018: e. distribution, population size and breeding density T22680492A132054083. http://datazone.birdlife.data for the species of conservation importance. – org/home. Assessed on 27.3.2020. Forestry Ideas 24, 1,55: 3–22. BirdLife International, Wetlands International Voos K. (1960): Atlas of European Birds. – Edinburgh, (2020): Critical Site Network 2.0. Goosande Ne r lson. Mergus merganser. https://criticalsites.wetlandWe s.ot rl g a/nds International (2018): Waterbird Popu - la en. Assessed on 26.10.2020. tion Estimates. – htw tp p:e // .wetlands. A orss gessed BUNARCO (2009): List of the Birds Recorded in on 27.03.2020. Bulgaria. – Acta zoologica bulgarica 61 (1): 3–26. Catsadorakis G., Avramovski O., Bojadzi A., Prispelo / Arrived: 4. 7. 2020 Nikolau H. (2016): The status of an isolated p - op Sprejeto / Accepted: 23. 10. 2020 ulation of Goosand Me er rg us merganser in the Balkans. – Wildfowl 66: 159–175. Handrinos G., Akriotis T. (1997): The Birds of Greece. – Christopher Helm, London, UK. Hagemeijer J., Blair M. (1997): The EBCC Atlas of European breeding birds: their distribution and abundance. – T & AD Poyser, London. Kajtoch Ł., Bobrek R. (2014): Extension of Goosander Mergus merganser distribution into the Carpathian Mountain range. – Wildfowl 64: 91–101.
Acrocephalus – de Gruyter
Published: Nov 1, 2020
Keywords: waterfowl; breeding; locality; Eastern Rhodopes
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