of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station
The paper analyzes dynamic changes in breeding numbers of Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) in the Azov-Black Sea region, and also there is given data on migration, wintering and behaviour of Pygmy Cormorant in its breeding period.
Till the end of 1980s the Azov-Black Sea region observed depression in numbers of Pygmy Cormorant. There bred only 200-250 pairs, mostly in the Danube Delta. In '90s a sharp increase in species numbers was recorded, and it is continuing till the present time. The most complete census was taken in 2002. In the Danube 9,341 pairs were counted in 14 colonies, of them in Romanian part 8,311 pairs in 11 colonies, in Ukrainian part 1,030 pairs in 3 colonies, at the Dniester over 700 pairs, at the Dnieper 350 pairs, in the Crimea 35-40 pairs. A total estimated quantity probably exceeded 11,000 pairs. The bird breeds together with Ciconiiformes.
Present wintering grounds of the species are situated at the Danube in the former Yugoslavia - about 5,000 birds, at the lower Danube up to 1,250 birds, and 400-700 Pygmy Cormorants winter in the Crimea depending of weather.
Reasons of sharp increase in the species numbers during last 20 years are not completely clear. Probably the wintering became more successful because of the climate warming.Read the paper in a PDF file