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Dalmatian Pelican

Papercraft kit : The Dalmatian Pelican whose trademark is a large bill.

Rare Animals of the World

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The pelican is distinguished by its long bill. The Dalmatian pelican, whose bill reaches 40 cm or more in length, is the largest pelican species in the world. The Dalmatian pelican is currently classified as “Vulnerable [VU]” in the Red List.

Assembly instructions for the Paper Craft Model of the humorous-looking Dalmatian pelican, widely known as a “living fossil”, may be downloaded from this web site. A photo image of a completed model may be downloaded as well.

Download - Parts sheet & InstructionsThis data was released in April, 2001.

Dalmatian Pelican - Animal Guide

  • Dalmatian Pelican - Pelecanidae
  • Pongo abelii
  • Length: 160 - 180 cm (approximately 63 - 71 in.) / Wing Span: 310 - 345 cm (approximately 122 - 136 in.) / Weight: 10 - 13 kg (approximately 22 - 29 lbs.)
  • 2016 Edition of the RED LIST categories : Vulnerable [VU]

The Dalmatian pelican, one of the world's seven pelican species, is a large-sized bird reaching 1.6 to 1.8 meters in length(approximately 63 to 71 inches) with its wing span exceeding 3 meters (approximately 118 inches). The species is characterized by its lustrous silvery-white plumage, black primaries, and orange-colored mandibular pouch. The Dalmatian pelican lives communally, forming a small group consisting of several birds. It lays two to three eggs at once in a ground nest made of twigs and grasses.
The Dalmatian pelican is distinguished mostly by its long bill reaching 40 centimeters or more (approximately 16 inches or more). The bird can freely stretch its bill lower mandible skin. When the pelican catches its food (mainly consisting of small fish) its mandibular skin stretches like a large pouch. The species scoops up fish together with water as if it were using a net or a sieve. The parent bird stores the catch in its pouch beneath the bill to feed its the chicks. It is amusing to watch the chicks plunge their heads inside the parent's bill and gobble up the fish.
The Dalmatian pelican can dive and swim very skillfully with its well-developed webbed feet. However, it is not graceful when walking on the ground. The way the pelican toddles around looks humorous and attracts plenty of attention at zoos.


The Dalmatian pelican inhabits a long and narrow region from east to west, covering areas such as Southeastern Europe, Southern Russia, the Middle East, India, Mongolia, China and Mongolia Autonomy Region. Throughout the twentieth century the species has lost its breeding grounds and decreased in number due to swampland development and river improvement projects. Moreover, because of its need for a great amounts of fish for food, the species was seen as a problem to fishery and was targeted for extermination. The population of the Dalmatian pelican once dropped down to approximately 4,000 pairs, but has begun to recover as a result of government protection.

Habitat range: Regions ranging from Southeastern Europe to China

About Red List

The Red List is the material prepared by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) classifying various threatened wild animals of the world and reporting their present habitat status.

The List evaluates the extinction risk level of each individual species from a biological viewpoint, but it possesses no legal power to enforce regulations concerning threatened species. The Red List is broadly employed as fundamental information in advancing the preservation of threatened wild animals.

Referring to the original Red List, the Environment Agency of Japan has compiled the Japanese edition of the List listing threatened taxa inhabiting Japan.

2016 Edition of the RED LIST CATEGORIES and classified as follows:
Extinct EX No known individuals remaining.
Extinct in the Wild EW Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.
Critically Endangered CR Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
Endangered EN High risk of extinction in the wild.
Vulnerable VU High risk of endangerment in the wild.
Near Threatened NT Likely to become endangered in the near future.
Least Concern LC Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at-risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.
Data Deficient DD Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction.
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