Name: Dalmatian Pelican
Scientific name: Pelecanus crispus
Conservation status: IUCN - Near Threatened, CMS - Appendix I

The Dalmatian Pelican is the largest freshwater bird in the world. The distinct geographic population of this species in East Asia only breeds in western Mongolia. A Species Action Plan and the Dalmatian Pelican Task Force under EAAFP were adopted during MOP8 in 2018.

Photo by Dean (Yu Deng, 邓郁) [copyright pending correction]


Dalmatian Pelican is a big bird (160-180cm in length) covered with chalky white feathers. It has a big greyish beak with orange or yellowish gular pouch, which turns bright reddish-orange during the breeding season. It has grey legs and feet with webbing connecting all four toes.

Photo by Dean (Yu Deng, 邓郁) [copyright pending correction]

Distribution range

*This map was produced by EAAFP Dalmatian Pelican Task Force and EAAFP Secretariat.

Breeding grounds: The breeding range of Dalmatian Pelican spans from south-eastern Europe to western Mongolia. The eastern population found in EAA Flyway is only breeding in western Mongolia.

Wintering grounds: The eastern population only winters along east coast of China.


Dalmatian Pelican at Yellow River Delta ©Liu Tao

Dalmatian Pelican breeds on small islands in inland freshwater lakes with aquatic vegetation. In winters, they are found in coastal tidal flats, lagoons, river deltas and estuaries.

Population estimate

The eastern population in East-Asian Australasian Flyway: 100 - 150 individuals.

Main threats

Hunting; Habitat degradation due to wetland alteration and destruction, water pollution, collision with overhead power-lines; impact from overfishing in South China.

How you can help

  • There is a lack of knowledge about the species, including its distribution and the factors causing its decline. Please support us to do studies, surveys, report sightings of the species and record the sites.
  • Sustainable and sympathetic management of the sites used by Dalmatian Pelican.
  • Help to promote the conservation of Dalmatian Pelican.
  • Join EAAFP Dalmatian Pelican Task Force.
  • Donate and support EAAFP’s work.

Learn more about Dalmatian Pelican


Click [here] to download the Dalmatian Pelican Factsheet. All Copyrights Reserved.

Photo of Dalmatian Pelican in factsheet by Dean (Yu Deng, 邓郁) [copyright pending correction]