Help make a difference for this great bird at our next survey on Saturday, Oct. 15.
Pacific Brown Pelican. Photo: Carl Velie
Join us for the next Brown Pelican Survey on Saturday, October 15. Not only will this be a great time to get out and see one of our favorite birds, but you can also help make a difference for the conservation of this species.
The biannual Brown Pelican surveys are helping us define the distribution and abundance of Brown Pelicans and track shifts in population structure. The California Brown Pelican subspecies (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) was removed from the Endangered Species list in 2009. The most recent population estimate is 70,680 breeding pairs. The majority of the subspecies breeds in the Gulf of California, Mexico; 15-20% of the population breeds at the U.S. Channel Islands. In recent years Brown Pelican productivity at the Channel Islands and across the range has been poor, and key forage species including anchovy and sardine have collapsed raising questions and concerns about recruitment to the breeding population and ultimately the health of the subspecies.
There are two ways to participate in this survey:
To survey at any coastal access point, follow the steps in the “protocol” section below. If you want to volunteer at a roost site, you can use the interactive map below to find the roost sites near you and the local coordinator to contact about participating. Alternatively, you can contact the following individuals to connect you with the right local coordinator:
Washington: Jen Syrowitz
Oregon: Joe Liebezeit
California: Wendy Schackwitz
Mexico: Yuliana Bedolla
A joint effort of USFWS, eBird, state agencies, Conservacion de Islas and the Audubon network.
Location of roost survey sites. Driving directions can be found on Google Maps, using longitude and latitude.
The goal is to initiate a biannual citizen science-based survey to help understand the abundance and distribution of Brown Pelicans in California, Oregon, and Washington. This survey will complement a 47-year time series of productivity monitoring data at the U.S. Channel Islands and a shorter, but also robust, data set in Mexico.
On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the first wildlife refuge on Pelican Island in Florida. Created to protect bird species that had been hunted to the brink of extinction, this first refuge led to the National Wildlife Refuge System that now includes over 560 refuges across the country. Though the brown pelican has recovered, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge continues to protect 14 other threatened and endangered species.
Audubon California is joining up with several other agencies, including the USFWS to complete a citizen science survey of the California Brown Pelican on May 7. Save the date!
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