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!