An estimated 45,000 migrating pelicans stop by Israel to hunt for food, and they seem to like fish raised by Israeli farmers. To prevent conflict between the two, the government set up pelican-friendly reservoirs.
“The program is aimed at minimizing the friction between man and pelican,” said Ofir Bruckenstein of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. “Pelicans eat fish, and the industry of fish farming in Israel experiences damages.”
To miminize the damages, Bruckenstein said they buy fish from farms and throw them in reservoirs for pelicans to eat.
About 2.5 tonnes of fish have been put into a designated pond in Mishmar Hasharon, a communal kibbutz near Israel’s Mediterranean coast, to keep pelicans away from commercial fisheries.
Millions of birds go through Israel each migration season: in spring they travel to the north to Europe and Asia and later in the year back to Africa.
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) estimates that around half of the birds die during the seasonal journey that covers thousands of kilometers.
Birds are killed by natural predators and human activity, like the destruction of habitats and electrocution by power cables, SPNI said.
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