The Brown Pelican is part of the family Pelecanidae. The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis ) is the smallest (42"-54") member of the seven species of the pelican family. (Wikipedia) It is still a relatively large bird, with a long, narrow beak. This specific species of pelican has a brown body and webbed feet. The brown pelican has a wingspan when fully grown of about seven feet and extend four feet in width (Field Guide to California). Brown pelicans consume 3 to 4 pounds of small fish or crustaceans per day and can hold up to three gallons of water in its gular pouch, which is three times its stomach capacity. Besides the bird's dark coloration, the method of fishing by diving as opposed to cooperative fishing separates the brown pelican from the seven other species of pelicans.
[...] Klass. December “Status and Ecology of the Brown Pelican in the Greater Puerto Rican Bank Region.” Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Iowa State University. 2OO pp. Daerr, Elizabeth. Pelican's Progress”. Rare & Endangered. April/May 2002. Ehrlich, Paul; Dobkin, David; and Wheye, Darryl. The Birder's Handbook. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc Lipske, Michael. Rachel Carson Helped Save the Brown Pelican”. National Wildlife. O'Connell, Martin ET. All. “Biological Resources of the Louisiana Coast: Part 2. Coastal Animals [...]
[...] “[Pelicans are] Endangered where found except for Atlantic coast, Florida and Alabama (Federal Register, October 13, 197O; June 197O; February In the Southeast Region, the brown pelican is listed as endangered only in Louisiana, Mississippi, and in the Caribbean. (US Fish and Wildlife Service)” Before European Colonization, the Brown Pelican could be found nesting in colonies, usually on islands. These birds reside in bodies of freshwater or along seacoasts. The brown pelican is native to Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts of North America, and along the South American coast of Venezuela. [...]
[...] The National Wildlife Refuge System owes its establishment to take on the brown pelican and this first step set into motion by President Roosevelt. What was an important species to protect by the organization is now put on the back burner. The status of species has not been reviewed in over a decade, because of “backlogs with other species (Pelicans Progress, p. This may be a flag that the same size organization is spread to thin to help every species. [...]
[...] The human introduction of DDT and similar compounds like dieldrin caused the eggs laid by the brown pelican to be thin and fragile. These eggs were not capable of supporting the embryo to maturity. The pesticides were used widely across the Atlantic Coast of the US and Texas. The chemical was designed to be the perfect pesticide, successful at eliminating many harmful organisms including the mosquitoes that carried the malaria virus. These eggs weakened by DDT were much less likely to survive and hatch young. [...]
[...] Their research was significant in saving the brown pelican in the regions most affected by DDT by getting the pesticides banned first in Florida and the rest of the United States shortly after. Since the efforts were made to ban harmful pesticides, the brown pelican has progressed towards recovery. The brown pelican is currently listed as endangered only in Texas and Louisiana (Birder's Handbook). On February the Brown pelican was delisted in the U.S. Atlantic coast, FL, AL (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services). [...]
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