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Pelican News is gathered from around the world from online newspapers, magazines and plain old word of mouth. There's an emphasis on those pelicans in the western US, the California Brown Pelican and the American White Pelican. The purpose is to inform and educate. There are also occasional news of other endangered bird species and threats to seabirds, especially, but also to other birds, worldwide: see: pelicanlife's wildlife news page. The hope is to draw support for the Santa Barbara pelicans: by appreciating pelicans and other threatened and vulnerable birds, we can appreciate and support even more those rescued California Brown Pelicans, now healthy but unable to be free.

NB: For longer stories, this non-profit site, PelicanLife.org, will edit, with edits marked by ... or :::snip:::, and will provide active links to the original sources. PelicanLife's News section's sole purpose is educational, to contribute to pelican education and research. Citations and references should always be to those original sources. Most pieces require permission for copying for other than "fair use" purposes such as here; please contact the original sources for permission.



More than pelicans: check out the Wildlife News section!

Australia - drought | Arrow in mouth | Bobby - saved in Mississippi |Cayman success story | Choking to death on fish | Costa Rica - deaths of 500 pelicans | de-hooking a pelican in FL | DDT, CIBA and Alabama delta | delisting the California Brown Pelican? | delisting the California Brown Pelican - USF&W | fish stuck in throat |Florida | good idea | | Florida, St. P "bird island" |Hooking Pelicans in Florida |Illinois - rescued/released white pelican | India — return of the Grey Pelican | Hurricane of 2004, decline of birds | India - threats | India - Spot-billed | Maryland — cold pelicans | Minnesota to Sanibel, Florida | Monterey - The (Sea) Birds" | Oregon | scamming Pelican Harbor | Virginia Beach, frostbitten pelicans - Recovery and update | Wildlife Center costs

Brown pelicans are no longer imperiled, U.S. agency says Delisting process may start this year

By Mike Lee, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER, March 10, 2007

Brown pelicans – including the kind seen regularly by San Diego County beachgoers – no longer are endangered and should be removed from the nation's list of imperiled species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in its first comprehensive review of the birds' status in nearly 30 years.

A spokeswoman said the agency has money for the official delisting effort, which is expected to start by year's end.

The Fish and Wildlife decision follows a long campaign by the Endangered Species Recovery Council, a La Jolla-based conservation group that said the pelicans had recovered from steep declines in the 1950s and 1960s. The council aimed to show that the federal Endangered Species Act works despite controversy about its effectiveness.

“We try to . . . make sure that species get the help they need when they need it,” said Bill Everett of Julian, a seabird biologist and founding member of the council. “Let's not spend a lot of time and effort trying to help species like the pelican that don't need it anymore.”

Fish and Wildlife officials generally agreed with the council's assessment of the bird's progress, saying that “even the most conservative . . . estimates indicate that its global population size is large, consisting of hundreds of thousands of individuals.”

The agency's pelican update comes on the heels of its major report to Congress last month about threatened and endangered species. The study indicated that 6 percent of federally protected species were improving and 27 percent were stable as of late 2004.

Twenty-two percent were declining, and the agency couldn't determine the status of 42 percent of imperiled plants and animals.

Those numbers were slightly worse than the results of a similar Fish and Wildlife assessment from 2002. But in February, the agency's managers said they may be seeing an uptick in species that have recovered so much that they no longer need government safeguards.

The pelicans' population is soaring thanks to federal protections and a ban on the pesticide DDT. In past decades, the chemical contaminated the food chain and weakened the eggshells of several large birds, including pelicans and eagles.

The brown pelicans most recently studied by the Fish and Wildlife Service live in California, the Gulf Coast and Central and South America. Those on the Atlantic Coast and parts of the Gulf Coast were removed from the species list in 1985.

Fish and Wildlife officials warned that pelicans remain susceptible to injury or death from fishing gear, disturbance of their nesting areas, overfishing and loss of habitat.

But the bottom line is clear: “Threats are localized and do not appear to have a significant effect on the (brown pelicans') global population and its distribution,” the agency's recent report said.

In the months to come, the agency aims to issue comprehensive assessments of numerous species – work that it largely avoided in years past.

After being sued by property-rights advocates for not keeping close tabs on endangered and threatened species, Fish and Wildlife officials are working on in-depth reviews of more than 100 species in California and Nevada.

The first batch, released in October, showed that more than half of the 13 imperiled species studied are doing well enough to be removed from the Endangered Species Act list or downgraded from endangered to threatened status.

Mike Lee: (619) 542-4570; mike.lee@uniontrib.com

Find this article at:


03/09/2007 Rehabilitated pelican released into wild

WEST ALTON - A hunter's act of kindness toward an injured animal came full circle Friday morning as wildlife rehabilitators released an American white pelican back into nature.

Mike Haefner, 45, of O'Fallon, Mo., looked on proudly as experts from the World Bird Sanctuary in Eureka, Mo., opened the door of a doggie crate along the bank of Ellis Bay in the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary. As photographers and television cameramen captured the scene, the pelican emerged from the crate, took a few ungainly steps and then stopped to look around.

"How ya doin' Pelly?" Haefner called as the large white bird stretched its black-tipped wings out several times. "Remember me?" In fact, it was two months to the day since Haefner came across the bird while out bow-hunting with a friend on Dresser Island, located in the Mississippi River roughly between the Godfrey bluffs and St. Charles County on the Missouri side. Haefner noticed the bird had a foot injury and appeared weak.

"I told my buddy, 'If that bird is still there on the way back, I'm taking him home. I ain't leaving him here for coyote bait,'" Haefner said.
Sure enough, when the hunters returned to their car, Haefner said the pelican followed him.:::snip:::

By: Steve Whitworth ©The Telegraph 2007


Pelican Found With Arrow Stuck In Mouth

arrow in pelican

Mar 5, 2007 1:52 pm US/Eastern

(CBS4) MIAMI Pelicans are a common sight around South Florida, especially by the water, but one homeowner made an unusual find on Monday morning when they found a Pelican with an arrow through its mouth on their backyard dock.

Officials from the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami responded to the wounded bird and took it back to their headquarters to have the arrow removed.

Fortunately the barbs on the arrow were broken off, but the bird had been malnourished due to not being able to eat since the arrow would not allow it to open its mouth.

Officials are hopeful that the bird's jaw can be fixed so it can be rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

It is unknown how long the bird was injured and officials are still trying to determine the gender of the Pelican.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_064123917.html — Link to page with video


De-hooked brown pelican one of the lucky birds

March 04, 2007

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- As a Marine Discovery Center boat floated past an island with birds perched on branches, one lonely brown pelican struggled on the ground.

Passengers, who were enrolled in the Florida Master Naturalist Program on coastal ecosystems, had learned in past weeks how important it is to properly dispose of fishing line.

And on Wednesday afternoon, they saw why.

With the boat anchored near the island, three passengers quickly tromped through the shallow Indian River Lagoon to shore. Though most birds flutter away at the sight of humans balancing in the foul mud, the pelican tangled in monofilament didn't have a choice.

At a quick and quiet pace, Debra Marsicano, education coordinator for the Marine Science Center, draped a towel over the pelican's eyes so Chad Truxall could treat the injured bird.

As she held the pelican's beak, Truxall, education director for the Marine Discovery Center, found a fishing hook in the bird's wing.

With the help of Lou King, the center's education assistant, the trio held the pelican still and removed the fishing line and the hook with pliers.

Pained by the injury, the pelican escaped into the water and held its wounded wing up as it floated away.

Onlookers in the boat cheered.

Marsicano said the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet sees similar cases almost every day.

"Fishermen think they should just cut the line, but that's almost a death sentence," she said.

Once the tangled bird reaches an island, the animal will become further tangled in vegetation and can starve to death. At least two dead birds on the island met such a fate, Marsicano said.

"Death is imminent once they roost for the night," she said. "They get tangled and they can't pull away."

Brown pelicans often are caught in fishing line because they are opportunistic, lingering too close to anglers for a meal. Feeding them only will encourage the birds to stay in the area.

The ideal situation is to reel the bird in if it has become caught on a line and remove the hook and monofilament, which can take hundreds of years to decompose.

Anglers should hold the bird's beak and have a towel handy to cover its eyes and hold its wings to safely remove the hook.

For those who are not comfortable or are unsuccessful removing a hook or monofilament, there are drop-off cages at the Marine Science Center's seabird rehabilitation sanctuary, 100 Lighthouse Drive.

People also may call the center's bird rehabilitation hot line at (386) 304-5530 for help.

kelly.cuculiansky@news-jrnl.com http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/Enviro/envDJ01ENV030407.htm


Also, an update with video: <http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070228/VIDEO01/302280016/1006/NEWS> (if not available...)

A very sweet story with some fine pictures:

Pelicans head north rescued birds were saved from icy rivers

Date published: 2/22/2007


Rescued from icy rivers two weeks ago, two dozen brown pelicans left their temporary refuge at a Westmoreland County greenhouse yesterday and headed north in a U-Haul truck.

Veterinarians and wildlife-rehabilitation experts were on hand in Frederick, Md., to examine the birds and send them on to other sanctuaries for additional treatment and recuperation.

"They need cages big enough to fly in and access to water in larger pools," said Wendy Fox, who was in Maryland coordinating the effort.

Fox is executive director of the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station Inc. in Miami, where the birds may eventually be released. :::snip:::

http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2007/022007/02222007/262124 Also: click

More on this story: <http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=57350> or click here


Pelicans biting off more than they can chew
Kara Kenney, Last updated on: 2/19/2007 5:57:10 PM

COLLIER COUNTY: Dozens of dead pelicans are showing up at an East Naples park. Officials with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida say it's one of the worst die-offs they've ever seen. Fishermen are being blamed, but it's not the fishing hooks and wire that's killing the pelicans - it's the fish themselves.

Carcass after carcass, dozens of dead pelicans are showing up at Bayview Park in East Naples.

"They're slowly withering and dying, it's really sad. It's very sad," said Joanna Fitzgerald of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Fitzgerald says the fish are too big for the pelicans' tiny throats.

"They can't get fish down, can't get fish out. They're wasting away. It's a slow and painful death," said Fitzgerald.

The deaths are slow and painful because the pelicans are either dying from their injuries or starving to death. The cold weather isn't helping.

"If there's a bird already suffering, the cold weather is going to do them in for sure," said Fitzgerald. "The bruising, the hemorrhaging we see in their throats when we get the fish out. It's got to be terribly painful."

Despite numerous signs posted at the park, many fishermen feed the pelicans anyways.

Fisherman John Benton said he just didn't know the large fish have the potential to actually kill a pelican.

"I wasn't aware they could eat anything large enough to kill themselves," said Benton. "You just throw them over the side."

But Bruce French, a long time park visitor, says the fishermen are not at fault.

"Pelicans take them away from the fishermen. You have a fish on the line and a pelican swoops down and takes it," said French.

Fitzgerald says by nature, pelicans are made for small bait fish only and that the only way to stop the die-off is for people to stop feeding them. Instead, the pelicans need to feed themselves.

She went on to say if you feel the need to feed pelicans, you should at least cut the fish into small pieces because that will help them digest the fish.

As for rescuing the pelicans, Fitzgerald says that's difficult because many of the pelicans can still fly away even with fish lodged in their throats.

© 2007 by NBC2 NEWS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Return of the pelican


The increase in the number of pelicans is news to cheer.

The nests are close to each other and the adult pelicans jostle with each other. Pelicans need undisturbed places to reproduce. They will abandon their nests at the slightest provocation.

EARLY one morning, driving across Mutukadu Bridge on our way to Mamallapuram, we noticed on our right what looked like a large white flotsam in the lagoon. Viewed through binoculars, it resolved into a flock of pelicans indulging in communal feeding. These birds form a sort of flotilla, drive the fish with heavy beats of their wings to shallower waters and then scoop them in their beak, which is used like a landing net. :::snip:::

Koonthankulam, near Tirunelveli, is a refuge where they nest annually. There are at least 15 sites in Tamil Nadu where these birds breed annually. Pelicans need undisturbed places to reproduce. They will abandon their nests at even the slightest provocation.

While breeding pelicans need a lot of food, to raise three or four ravenous nestlings exclusively on fish is no mean job. The adult bird first swallows the fish. On reaching the nest, it regurgitates the half-digested fish to the nestlings. This year, the Forest Department stocked the Vedanthangal Lake with nearly 50,000 fingerlings to help the nesting birds.

Some birders wonder whether sighting these birds in a few places could indicate recovery. Bangalore-based ornithologist Dr. Subramanya, who has been meticulously documenting pelicanries all over India for nearly two decades, says that these sightings indeed augur well for the status of this magnificent bird.

Making a comeback

We have reason enough to believe that the pelicans, which symbolise our wetland habitats, are making a comeback. He points out that the increase in pelican numbers in South India is also due to the large number of breeding sites where raising Acacia nilotica has provided places to nest.

A decade ago, the sighting of this bird was a rare occurrence. For instance, in 1991, only 13 birds were seen around Bangalore. Now you see them almost the year around and once a birder saw a flock of 240 in a single tank in one day.

However, the overall picture of waterfowl is not so happy. The Wetland International, an outfit monitoring the status of waterfowl the world over, says that 62 per cent of water birds in Asia are on the decline, the main reason being habitat destruction.

Veteran birder Lavkumar Kachar from Ahmedabad laments that the majestic Sarus crane (the Krauncha bird of the Ramayana) is on its way out. http://www.hindu.com/mag/2007/02/18/stories/2007021800110200.htm


Feb. 13, 2007, 6:43PM
Costa Rica probes deaths of 500 pelicans

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Authorities in Costa Rica said Tuesday they are investigating the mysterious deaths of about 500 brown pelicans along the country's Pacific coast over the last five days but do not suspect bird flu was the cause.

The first dead birds were spotted by a fisherman on Thursday on San Lucas Island, about 10 miles from the coastal city of Punta Arenas. More turned up in the following days at nearby islands and rivers.

"This is a situation that is enormously worrisome," Costa Rican Environment Minister Roberto Dobles said. "But it is hard to know what happened, and so it is better not to speculate."

Investigators were collecting tissue samples from the dead birds, but tests to determine the cause of death may take several days, said National Animal Health Service spokesman Flor Aguero.

Coast Guard marine biologist Carmen Castro said investigators do not think the deaths were caused by bird flu, which is primarily spread by migration.

Brown pelicans are not migratory birds, and form stable, permanent colonies. They are not considered an endangered or protected species in Costa Rica.

Health Minister Maria Luisa Avila said while agriculture and animal health officials are in charge of the investigation, hospitals have been checked for possible cases of diseases like West Nile virus that could infect both birds and humans.

Mosquitoes can spread that disease by biting infected birds and then biting humans. Avila said no such cases have been found so far. © 2007 The Associated Pres http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/4551469.html


Mississippi Pelican Saved by Rescue Group

This is Bobby, an American White Pelican who was unable to fly or migrate because of an old wing injury. When his bill pouch was damaged, the Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation group provided him with a safe place to recover.

Adult A.W. Pelicans are one of the largest of the eight true species of pelicans with a wingspan of 8 to 9.5 feet.

The American White Pelican is different because it does not drop from great heights to catch its prey, but floats and scoops up fish with its enormous bill. Several pelicans may fish cooperatively, moving into a circle to concentrate the fish, then dipping their heads under simultaneously to eat.

MWR needs volunteers for this spring's baby season. For more information call 662-429-5105 or visit the group's website. They have lots more cool pictures of rescued animals, as well.
Date created: 02/ 9/2007
URL for this story: http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/Content?oid=24486


Spot-billed pelicans spotted in large numbers at Pallikaranai marsh

Date:08/02/2007 P. Oppili

spot-billed pelicans

POPULATION BOOST: Spot-billed pelicans seen on a high-tension cable pylon at the Pallikaranai marsh on Monday. — Photo: Shaju John

CHENNAI: Visitors to the Pallikaranai marshland here have been surprised to sight a good number of spot-billed pelicans frequenting the marsh. Naturalists, who have been visiting the marsh in the last 15 years, say that there is no record of sighting pelicans at the Pallikaranai marsh. This is the first season that a sizeable number of pelicans have been sighted here, they say.

A rough estimate by the naturalists reveal that nearly 200 spot-billed pelicans have migrated to the marshland to feed in the waters over the past month. Many of these birds have made a perch of the pylon of the high-tension cable in the area.

V. Kannan, Senior Researcher from Bombay Natural History Society, says pelicans used to visit marshes during chick-rearing stage. The pelicans are wanderers and wherever they find a suitable site, they will make it their temporary home. As far as Pallikaranai is concerned, it could be a secondary wetland used by the spot-billed pelicans, he observes.

Pelicans are a threatened species and in 1980s their population in India was estimated to be around 1,500. The situation started changing and in the last six years their population in the wild has increased considerably, he says adding that in South India their population ranges between 2,850 and 3,700. T. Murugavel, Coordinator, Projects, Environment Monitoring and Action Initiating says, "It is sad that they have to fish in polluted waters. A proper study has to be taken up to assess the impact of pollutants on these birds, which migrate during the breeding season."

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/02/08/stories/2007020802590200.htm


Cold pelicans find cozy home in Montross nursery


This is the story of how a Westmoreland County greenhouse became a cozy hospital for pelicans.

Yesterday, 26 of the big, brown birds seemed to be resting comfortably on straw in a heated, humid greenhouse at Red Oak Nursery near Montross.

The patients were hungry. Their long, slender beaks clacked as they gulped down fish laced with medicine.

The nurse-dietitian was Diana O'Connor of the Wild Bunch Wildlife Rehabilitation Refuge near Warsaw. She rescued the first two pelicans last week by the icy Rappahannock River at Tappahannock.

"They were starving and suffering from hypothermia and frostbite. They were so depleted and weak that we just picked them up," said O'Connor. She also found two dead birds on the shore.

She called R.G. "Doc" Wexler, director of Wildlife Research and Rescue on the Chesapeake in southern Maryland.:::snip:::

http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2007/022007/02102007/258840 Copyright 2007 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.


Growth driving up costs for wildlife center

By ANGIE FRANCALANCIA, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
When it opened three years ago, the Folke Peterson Wildlife Center was just a well-outfitted building in a remote western pocket, the result of a dream to help sick, injured and orphaned native Florida wildlife. Today, it's a bustling rehab center that treats an average of three new animals a day.

But as wildlife habitat continues to give way to suburbia, staff members expect that number to rise. And with that increase will come a continual rise in the cost to rehabilitate the thousands of birds, mammals and reptiles that are brought into the center. :::snip:::


Folke Peterson Wildlife Center
What: A not-for-profit center thatcares for sick, injured and orphaned native Florida wildlife.
Where: 10948 Acme Road
Information: (561)793-BIRDor online at www.fpwildlife.org
Annual operating budget: $500,000(including $52,000 for insurance, $30,000 for utilities, $45,000 for food, medical supplies)
Fund-raiser:Wild Again Dinner/Auction
When: March 10
Where: Sailfish Club, 1338 North Lake Way, Palm Beach
Time: 7 p.m. cocktails; 8 p.m. dinner
Cost:$125 per personWish List
Cages, including pet carriers, aquariums and small wire cages.
Bedding, such as old towels, pillowcases, baby blankets and sheets.
Cleaning supplies, including dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, scrub pads and brushes, plastic trash bags, mops, brooms.
Bowls, non-tipping metal, ceramic and plastic.
Medical supplies, including lactated ringer solution, cotton swabs, gauze, needles, syringes, butterfly catheters, digital gram scale, ophthalmoscope.
Office supplies,such as white and color copier paper, envelopes, stampsand a laptop computer.
Maintenance supplies, including pressure-treated wood, hoses and nozzles,native plants and hand and power tools.
Golf cart

Palm Beach Post: http://tinyurl.com/26m9cl


Towers pose grave threat to Pelicans

Monday February 5 2007 11:53 IST
MYSORE: The Forest and Tourism Department’s move to construct a 34 ft tower to help tourists take photographs and watch the Spotbilled Pelican at the Kokkare Bellur, Mandya district, has posed a great threat to the birds during their nesting season.

Kokkare Bellur in Mandya district is one of the oldest and last strongholds of the breeding colonies of Spotbilled Pelican (Pelicanus Philippensis) in Karnataka. These pelicans, considered to be globally endangered species, have recorded a slight increase in their number from 186 pairs in early 1990’s to about 400 pairs, along with 1200 breeding pairs of Painted Strok thanks to the intervention of NGOs.

The nursery pen for orphan Pelican chicks run by Hejjarle Balaga and the advocacy and awareness programmes along with the involvement of local communities in conservation headed by Mysore Amateur Naturalists have been the prime factors that helped the revival of Pelican numbers.

But now, the felling of old trees has become a major threat for the nesting birds in the village. Also the obstruction caused by the network of high tension power cables and the disturbance by tourists, also turned a bane to the nesting birds.

The increase in population of crows in the region has resulted in preying upon of eggs and nestlings of both Pelicans and Painted Stork. The movement of unruly tourists are also a great distrubance to the birds.

According to Mysore Amateur Naturalists secretary K Manu, the local community is also opposed to the promotion of tourism as the Kokkare Bellur is for avid bird lovers and not for ordinary tourists.

He charged the Department of Tourism, with carrying on its urban tourism development programme with Central grants. It has decided to broaden the streets by felling trees thereby destroying the nesting of birds.

The 34 ft tower along with an elaborate stairway is close to where the pelicans nest in the large banyan tree in the backyard of Ponana with 135 nestlings.

The Secretary of the government has said that the tower will not disturb the birds. Manu said that about hundred birds have fled and felt that the wildlife department must realise that putting up monstrous towers close to the nesting trees is disastrous to birds.

Newindpress.com <http://tinyurl.com/3ajk5n>


Pelicans, loons turning up dead — Commission seeks answer to mystery

Publication Date: 02/04/07

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking into the deaths of several loons and pelicans that have turned up on St. Johns County's beaches in recent weeks.

The commission's avian mortality veterinarian, Danielle Stanek, said there hasn't been a "drastic" number of deaths reported, but she's looking into it in case there's more to it than survival of the fittest.

Stanek, who's based in Tampa, said it's typical for juvenile birds to die off this time of year simply because they can't compete for food with older birds. She suspects that was the case with many of the young birds that were found.

But some adult birds are turning up on the beaches, too, Stanek said, so the commission is running tests to find out why.


Stanek stressed that it's important to report a dead bird sighting as quickly as possible so experts can get to it in time for the necessary testing.

To report a dead bird sighting to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, go to http://myfwc.com/bird.

http://staugustine.com/stories/020407/news_4380577.shtml © The St. Augustine Record


Another example of the harmful effect from misguided attempts to "help" by feeding wild pelicans

Virginia Beach SPCA takes more pelicans under its wing
By SUSAN E. WHITE, The Virginian-Pilot
© February 2, 2007

VIRGINIA BEACH - At least 11 more malnourished and frostbitten brown pelicans were rescued Thursday, one day after nine unhealthy birds were captured.

Wildlife rehabilitators, animal rescue volunteers and staff with the Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spent much of the day wrangling the pelicans around Lake Rudee, near Shadowlawn Heights.

The pelicans are being housed and treated at the SPCA shelter on Holland Road, but they could be relocated soon, said Sharon Adams, executive director of the Beach SPCA.
click here

"We're really trying to find indoor facilities because they don't need to be back outside right now," Adams said.

Pelicans usually migrate farther south during the winter, but the rescued birds, most of which are juveniles, have stuck around because they've been relying on local fishermen, restaurants and tourists to feed them, Adams said. :::snip:::


See also this article from 1999 on killing with kindness <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990426062257.htm>


Pelicans rescued near Lake Rudee show healthy signs
By SUSAN E. WHITE, The Virginian-Pilot
© February 8, 2007


They're gaining weight, preening and getting feisty - at least three healthy signs for the brown pelicans that were rescued last week near Lake Rudee.

Since the end of January, 29 pelicans have been rescued by the Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The young birds, which were mainly captured in Shadowlawn Heights, came to the shelter starving and with frostbitten feet, wing tips and gullets. Two died.

Over the past week, the remaining 27 have gained between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds each from a steady diet of menhaden, mullet and antibiotics, said Sharon Adams, executive director of the SPCA.

Each bird eats nearly 5 pounds of fish a day.

Shelter officials were relying on donations, but as of Wednesday they were desperate for fish to buy. "No one has any," Adams said. "What we need is not what people are fishing for. Pretty soon, they may be eating peanut butter sandwiches."

Pelicans generally migrate south during winter. The rescued birds, most of which are juveniles, don't know how to fish because they have relied on local fishermen, restaurants and tourists to feed them.

Shelter officials are working on an awareness campaign on the consequences of feeding the birds. Adams also sees some educational potential in the recovery effort, including a study of their migration patterns.

The project could include banding young pelicans in Virginia Beach by next winter she said.

Those still here in January could then be moved farther south, released with adults and monitored to see if they can be retrained to properly migrate, she said.

"If we can come up with real information that we can use in a long-range plan, then we won't have to worry about dealing with this again," Adams said.

David Brinker, central region ecologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, spoke to Adams last week about his interest in the possible research.

Brinker, who specializes in water and shorebirds, has tracked the movements of the brown pelican along the mid-Atlantic coast since 1987.

About 12,000 of the birds have been banded in Maryland's Mid Bay since then, he said.

Historically, research has shown that more than 50 percent of the pelicans born and banded in Maryland don't live past the first year and most were found dead during the winter, he said. By monitoring the birds' movement, researchers can better understand the pelicans' "life history and mortality problems," Brinker said.

Back at the SPCA shelter, 10 of the 27 rescued pelicans remain housed in large indoor kennels.


© 2007 HamptonRoads.com/PilotOnline.com http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/print.cfm?story=119037&ran=184694


Jan 26, 2007 12:17 am US/Eastern
Website Vendor Accused Of Cheating Pelican Station

Dave Malkoff, Reporting

(CBS4) NORTH BAY VILLAGE A flock of hungry and sick pelicans is fed everyday near Miami Beach, but one website is suspected of taking away their fish just like taking candy away from a baby’s mouth.

The Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in North Bay Village runs on donations to help nurse sick or injured pelicans back to health. Wendy Fox, the director for the center, gets a chunk of money for food and medical care from donations to take care of thousands of pelicans, all under one roof.

But when Fox did a search on the name of her organization, she found one website which was selling t-shirts and other novelties with a pelican motif, claiming that 10 percent of their sales would be donated to the Seabird Station. The site even featured photographs that Fox recognized were taken at her center.

CBS4’s Dave Malkoff contacted the website, CaféPress.com, based out of California. They told the user selling the items on their site to take it down or else be kicked out of the site.

"We don't know who this person is," said Fox. "We've never received a penny, certainly not in the name of the website."

Fox suspects this smells like a scam and has contacted her lawyer. But above all, she wants the public to know that any purchase on this site will not be feeding another hungry pelican.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_025235210.html click for a video)


Disagreement could keep pelican on endangered list

By Mike Lee

The California brown pelican appears ready to fly off the state's endangered species list. If that happens, it would be the first species delisted by state wildlife agents because it has recovered enough.

But the California officials are pleading poverty and trying to force a La Jolla-based conservation group to pay for costly environmental studies needed to change the birds' status. That means the pelicans could remain protected indefinitely even though avian experts widely recognize that they are proliferating in California, including in San Diego and Imperial counties.

A lawyer for the nonprofit Endangered Species Recovery Council will meet with state fish and game leaders today to discuss the case, which could set the precedent for future delistings of threatened and endangered species in California.

The disagreement highlights one reason why species remained listed as imperiled even when they are in good health: Agencies don't want to spend money on removing the protections.

“What a state. A regulatory agency fails to do what it should do on its own, and when a nonprofit group that has zero financial interest in the matter files a petition to make the agency recognize that a species has recovered, (the agency) tries to charge it tens of thousands of dollars,” said Craig Harrison, the recovery council's lawyer in Santa Rosa.

He said the hang-up fits the pattern of regulatory agencies that “want to maximize their authority and minimize (their) work.” :::snip:::

Bill T. Everett of Julian, a seabird biologist and founding member of the council, said his group's motion to get the pelican off the federal list appears to be headed for success.

There's more uncertainty at the state level, where the Fish and Game Commission's request for money has created a deadlock. The necessary reviews are expected to cost $50,000 or more.

Everett said the state's stance “certainly has the appearance of obstructionism” and that his group – a collection of scientists around the world – doesn't have the money for the studies. He said the council wouldn't pay even if it could because it focuses on helping imperiled species recover.

That's roughly the same stance taken by state wildlife officials.

“It's all about available resources and priorities. We don't get funding directly to deal with issues like (delisting),” said Sonke Mastrup, a deputy director at California's Department of Fish and Game.

At the state commission, however, assistant executive director Jon Fischer said the council's petition is raising good questions.

“A lot of this is new ground,” he said. “We might have to look at it . . . and say, 'What is our position on this?' ”

Mike Lee: (619) 542-4570; mike.lee@uniontrib.com http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20070119-9999-7m19pelican.html


Pelicans hitch a ride to Southwest Florida
Kathryn Simmons
Last updated on: 1/17/2007 6:14:23 PM

LEE COUNTY: A flock of injured pelicans coming in on airport cargo is not something you see everyday. Officials say they came in that way because they missed their normal migrating schedule. The pelicans were rescued on a frozen Minnesota lake and flown into Southwest Florida to catch up with all of the pelicans who made the flight on their own.

The pelicans barely survived the harsh Minnesota temperatures. But now they are in the warm weather getting acquainted with their new friends on Sanibel Island.

The rescue started on Pelican Lake in Minnesota. The American White Pelicans were on the brink of death. They were trapped, injured, and separated from their flock.

After the birds were rescued, they were brought back to health. But because they missed their chance to migrate, they were put on a plane and brought to Southwest Florida's Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, or the CROW Center, for their final recovery.

"They were all in carriers and it was pretty exciting. I'm sure it was quite the interesting experience for them to go from a frozen lake to a rehabilitation center, on a plane, and then down here on Sanibel," said CROW Clinic Director Dr. P.J. Deitschel. "It's always a neat experience to see them go back in the wild where they belong."

When the birds were released at the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, they were seen mingling with other pelicans there.

"I think they take in their surroundings, check things out and see what else is out there, and they met up with the other pelicans. So that was pretty neat," said Dr. Christy Prinz, CROW Veterinarian Intern.

"We assume that this group will stay with their new group. Whether they go back to Minnesota or not - we don't know," said Deitschel.

The White Pelicans should start migrating up north this spring. But officials are expecting more pelicans to head back with them. Three other white pelicans, also from Pelican Lake, will also be flying into Southwest Florida by plane.

That will happen when the birds are stable enough to travel.

© 2007 by NBC2 NEWS.

See video : WMP 9 or higher required http://www.nbc-2.com/articles/readarticle.asp?articleid=10636&z=3&p=


January 13, 2007

Pelican gets big fish stuck in his throat


Florida Wildlife Hospital director Sue Small couldn't believe her eyes when she first caught sight of a brown pelican brought to the hospital a month ago.

The creature looked like a punk rocker.

"It looked like he was wearing a spike collar," Small said.

The pelican was dying from a too-large fish stuck in its gullet.

"Someone probably fed him a fish carcass at a feeding table," Small said.

"It was a fish much too large for him to catch and he couldn't swallow it."

The fish bones protruded from the neck in his neck, giving him the punk look.

While the lodged fish prevented him from feeding, the pelican was somewhat fortunate that he wasn't able to swallow it.

"If he had managed to swallow it, it would have perforated his stomach and there's nothing we could have done about it," Small said.

It was touch and go for the debilitated bird, but hospital workers were able to clip the protruding bones and then reached inside his bill to find that the fish carcass was so decayed it crumpled up easily.

It's not unusual for brown pelicans to find themselves in such dire straits, for the birds are notorious gluttons with an appetite for trouble.

Unlike their white cousins, which scoop up fish on their bills as they swim and are wary of people, "brownies" dive for their meals and are not afraid of taking food from humans.

Injuries may occur when the birds dive into too shallow waters or get tangled with monofilament lines and fishing hooks.

With medication and lots of fish -- appropriately sized, of course -- the hospital's "punk" pelican was released this week after being furnished with a highly visible band on its leg.

Information gathered from the bands will become part of a research project for the Bird Banding Laboratory in Maryland.

Florida Wildlife Hospital is sub-permitted to band released birds through its partnership with the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami.

The bands allow scientists to study the species' habits. Some pelicans are year-round residents while others are just passing through.

"You can read the bands without capturing the pelicans and learn about their migration patterns," Small said.

Because of the bands, hospital staff know that several previous pelican patients hang out by the hospital pond whenever the weather cools down.

"Yes, we feed them while they're here," Small said.

For the hospital, the bands are also a way to recognize "frequent flyers" that get into scrapes and land back in the hospital.

Another brown pelican a few months back was a repeat customer.

"He apparently didn't listen to our lectures about staying away from monofilament lines," Small said.

Both of the bird's hospital visits were the result of entanglement with fishing lines.

He's been lucky to date.

"We released him with a stern warning," Small said.

Contact Asst. Metro Editor Patrick Peterson at 242-3573 or ppeterson@brevard.gannett.com. http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070113/NEWS01/701130319/1006


Oregon - Wildlife Viewing

January 12, 2007


Oregon Coast: Nine brown pelicans were seen at Brookings. Two burrowing owls and a mockingbird were near Cape Blanco, and two barn swallows were seen near Flores Lake, three miles north of Cape Blanco. Two brown pelicans and a Heermann's gull were at the mouth of the Siuslaw River. Two snowy owls are hanging out at the south jetty of Yaquina Bay. Among the 137 species in the Tillamook Christmas Bird Count were a clay-colored sparrow at a Bay City feeder and a yellow-billed loon at the Ghost Hole on Tillamook Bay. A red-naped sapsucker was at Warrenton. Two redpolls were near Charleston, on Coos Bay, and a female tufted duck was on the north spit of Coos Bay. The Coos Bay Christmas Bird Count tuned up a record 161 species, including a redpoll, a tree swallow, a Nashville warbler and nine red phalaropes.

Surcharge levied: Visitors to the Oregon Zoo are digging into their pockets to help endangered Pacific Northwest animals by paying a 25-cent-a-ticket admission surcharge that went into effect Jan. 1. Zoo director Tony Vecchio said the surcharge will raise about $100,000 a year. The money will go to the zoo's Future for Wildlife programs for a variety of Northwest conservation projects. Animals such as western pond turtles, pygmy rabbits and butterflies are among the native species that will benefit from the surcharge. The surcharge has increased admission to $9.75, $8.25 for ages 65 and older and $6.75 for ages 3-11). Admission will remain free for ages 2 and younger. For information go to www.oregon zoo.com/Conservation/ffw.htm


Number of birds has declined since the hurricanes of 2004

January 11, 2007
PELICAN ISLAND — The dawning of a new year has not produced any significant increase in the number of birds flocking to the nation's first wildlife refuge, but there has been a rise in some unwelcome visitors to the federally protected sanctuary.

In some years, there can be as many as 16 different species nesting at Pelican Island northeast of Sebastian. The birds arrive at different times, with the peak season being April and May.
Last year, however, the only birds nesting at Pelican Island were some cormorants in late spring.


The bird count includes Pelican Island and Taylor said he would head to that island at dawn to count the birds. Prior to the hurricanes, he said, observers would see perhaps 1,000 cormorants, at least that many brown pelicans and about 800 white pelicans plus other species.

Two years ago when he and other observers boated out near the island at daybreak, "there was nothing there," said Taylor. "It was weird. The hurricanes had taken off the vegetation. Cleared it off like the Grim Reaper." ....snip....


Birds Flock To Site Of Spilled Fish
Sardines, Anchovies Spilled Near Pacific Grove

UPDATED: 8:57 am PST January 10, 2007
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. -- Hundreds of birds continue to flock to the Monterey Bay in Pacific Grove to feast on spilled sardines.

The water near Lovers Point was covered with birds taking part in the feeding frenzy Tuesday, after tons of sardines and anchovies washed ashore on Monday.

Seagulls, pelicans and small fish are all taking advantage of the spill.

State Department of Fish and Game officials said a commercial fishing boat probably either lost a load or a fishing net tore open.

"A mechanical problem could have occurred and fish may have been released from a net. We've never seen this. It's kind of like that Alfred Hitchcock movie 'The Birds' or something. They're everywhere. So far, they're all behaving themselves," Department of Fish and Game spokesman Donald Kelly said.

Since no pollutants were dumped, state officials said no citations will be issued.

also: a video is available: http://www.theksbwchannel.com/news/10708247/detail.html


Habitat under strain as birdlife flock to Coorong

Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT
Reporter: Mike Sexton

ALI MOORE: Well, as the current drought in Australia continues to break all records, the focus has been on how urban and rural residents are getting by with significantly reduced amounts of water. But the long dry is also taking its toll on nature. While Australian birds have evolved to cope with the continent's variable climate, ornithologists suspect many species are now struggling to cope as habitats dry out or, in extreme cases, are being burnt by bushfires.

But one part of the country is proving a haven the Coorong in South Australia is a 100km stretch of National Park where the River Murray meets the Southern Ocean. This spring saw a larger than expected breeding event in the area, as water birds from across the country sought refuge from the drought. But, as summer drags on, there are signs the once fertile area can no longer provide the habitat the birds are seeking. Mike Sexton reports.

MIKE SEXTON: On a craggy salt crusted island in South Australia's Coorong National Park is the equivalent of a daycare centre for pelicans. :::snip:::

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2006/s1824775.htm; Broadcast: 10/01/2007


The problem with pelicans

Every year the fishermen come, and every year the Conservancy sews up injured birds that lose the battle with hooks and fishing line

By Chad Gillis

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Mitch Young’s hooked one. Robert Beausoleil’s hooked several. Neither fisherman wanted to catch one, but reeling in brown pelicans is part of fishing at Naples Pier.

Squadrons of the gangly birds hang around the pier looking for an easy meal. Some hide under the massive structure, waiting for an angler to reel in a catch before pouncing on the hooked fish in mid-air.

It doesn’t help that some people actually feed the pelicans, thinking it’s cute or that the poor hungry bird needs a nourishing meal. But that only adds to the problem. It habituates the pelicans and teaches them to associate fishermen with food.

Losing one fish to a bird is not a catastrophe. The real problem arises when the pelicans get hooked themselves. Or tangled in fishing line. At that point there are two options: cut the line, lose a hook or lure and leave an injured bird to fend for itself, or reel in the pelican and try to safely free it.

“Either you bring him to the beach and unhook him or you use the big net to catch him,” Beausoleil says while fishing off the south end of the pier. “Often you’ll find several lures in the bird. Sometimes you catch them and


“A lot of people at the pier don’t want to deal with them and they cut the line, so you get five or six lures in one bird,” he continues. “It’s a nuisance really. I wish they would just stay away.”

Within minutes Beausoleil casts a lure and a tern flies into his line. Terns are much smaller than pelicans and usually don’t steal gamefish. Terns feed on schools of baitfish that swim near the surface. The pelicans are looking for larger meals, the same fish anglers are after.

Seasoned at the art of untangling birds, Beausoleil brings the tern to the pier, where two friends help him unwrap the bird. It takes only a few minutes, and the bird is released unharmed.

Landing a bird is not always such a simple procedure, though, especially with pelicans.

Mitch Young is an Ohio resident who visits his parents in Naples each winter. He fishes at the pier each year with his family, and usually catches a pelican or two every season.

“The first year I came down I caught one, and a guy helped me reel him in a get the hook out,” says Young while tying on a lure. “Now if I see one when I’m bringing a fish up to the pier, I open the bail and let the fish drop back in the water.”

Like most anglers, Young doesn’t want to hook any bird. He doesn’t want to hurt pelicans and doesn’t want to spend time untangling the birds, either.

“It’s kind of sad, really,” he explains. “I saw a pelican the other day trying to eat a fish and his pouch had been ripped all apart (by hooks and lures). Every time he tried to swallow a fish it just fell out of his pouch. But there’s not much you can do.”

Most anglers at the pier are familiar with the pelicans and how to safely release them. Signs are posted instructing fishermen on what to do once a bird is hooked.

“Everybody’s pretty used to it,” Beausoleil says. “But you don’t have a choice. Either you stay at home or you come and fish and deal with the pelicans.”


This newest crop of healed birds spent anywhere from a few weeks to a few months at the Conservancy’s wildlife rehabilitation center, undergoing operations to remove hooks and tangled fishing line from their wings, feet and pouches.

The birds represent a handful of the hundreds of pelicans that circulate through the Conservancy’s rehabilitation program each year.

In the wild, pelicans must endure harsh cold fronts, tropical storms, predators and fish kills from algae blooms. Once they’re old and strong enough to fly, their biggest challenge is humans, specifically anglers. Oddly, humans are also their best chance at survival.

Injured pelicans depend on people to heal their wounds and return them to the wild — from soft-hearted rescuers, to veterinary surgeons, to interns who feed them and the volunteers who sweep out their cages.

- - -

The Conservancy is a like an animal ER. Injured critters from all over Collier County and the Bonita Springs area are taken there for medical attention and physical rehab.

Otters, egrets, owls, hawks, bald eagles — all types of Southwest Florida species end up at the Conservancy. But brown pelicans are easily the most common. Some have broken wings or infected eyes, but virtually all have some type of fishing line/hook injury.

Rebecca Galligan has helped nurse thousands of pelicans back to health. About 200 brown pelicans a year are cycled through the rehab center, and almost all of those birds are juveniles. Galligan theorizes that pelicans that have made it to adulthood have learned to stay away from people.

“We’ve only had one adult come in this year,” she says while preparing to examine eight birds scheduled to be released on a Thursday morning in late December. “Seems like the older ones have figured out what fishing line is.”

November, December and January are usually the busiest months at the Conservancy, the time of year when tourists start fishing from beaches and structures, two places pelicans frequent.

Discarded fishing line is like Velcro to pelicans and other birds. Monofilament line tends to bunch up like a tumble weed or a loosely woven net. Birds sometimes fly or swim into the entanglement. Struggling only makes the line tighter and more restrictive.

Wrapped in a few hundred yards of 20-pound test line, relatively week pelicans rarely escape on their own. Some are unable to fly and starve in a few days, or are vulnerable to predators.

Lucky ones are captured and taken to a center like the Conservancy. There they receive medical attention, food and a place to rest and recover.


And since brown pelicans associate fishermen with food, they’ll grab live fish on hooks and try to swallow the meal — hook, line and sinker. That’s when pouches get ripped.

Even casting from the pier can be dangerous for the birds. Tossing a lure 100 feet or so from the pier, fishermen can entangle flying birds that pass by while the lure is in the air.

In that situation, the lure passes the bird and the bird flies into the line and gets entangled. Again, the safest thing to do at that point is reel the bird in and try to release it safely.

At the Conservancy, most injured pelicans can be stitched up and return to nature. Birds that can’t fly, however, are euthanized.

The Conservancy campus only has room for a few permanent residents. A handful of pelicans, a great white heron and a great egret are some of the only birds allowed to stay at the rehabilitation center for the remainder of their lives.

“We’re at full capacity for permanent birds,” says Joanna Fitzgerald, rehabilitation center manager. “It’s actually against the law to release a bird that can’t fly. And when they come in for permanency, they unfortunately have to be euthanized. We just don’t have room.”


Where they come from is not as important as where they’re going. And the goal is full recovery. Anything less and the bird will be euthanized.

“The release is the real reward for all the hard work,” Worcester says as she and DanCourt drive the latest group of healed pelicans to Goodland.

During the release, Marco Island resident Dwight J. Morgan parks his black Chevy pick-up truck along the road and watches the interns and birds from afar.

“Oh, the lucky birds,” Morgan says. “God bless, and God bless you guys for doing the work.”

Worcester tells Morgan about the pelicans and their injuries. He’s very attentive and obviously concerned about local wildlife.

“I fished around here for 20 years and I just don’t do it anymore. From a naturalist perspective, fishing is a bad business,” he says. “Some people don’t have respect for life of any kind.”

Fishermen at the pier say they do have respect for wildlife, pelicans included. Both anglers and pelicans want the same thing: fish. The two collide, most often at piers, and usually the pelicans are the losers.

Neither Beausoleil nor Young want to see pelicans hurt. They say other anglers feel the same way. Some, though, either don’t know how to rescue birds when they’re hooked or just refuse to deal with them.

“I saw a guy the other day, and his son had hooked a pelican with a large lure with treble hooks,” Young says. “They dad just walked over and broke the line. I told him that he shouldn’t do that, and that you can get your lure back and save the bird.”

Pier fishing’s not going away, though, even if birds are being injured. Docile in nature, brown pelicans typically aren’t afraid of humans. Their calm nature, though, is a mixed blessing when it comes to tangling with anglers.

“I would prefer the pelicans wouldn’t stay here,” Beausoleil says. “For the tourist they’re nice to see, but for the fishermen they’re a pain. A lot of times you lose hooks and lures, and people don’t like that.”

Pelican protocol

Injured animals can be dangerous, although pelicans are relatively docile. Experts say if you find an injured pelican the first task is to subdue the bird.

-- It helps to throw a towel or sheet over the bird’s head.

-- Grab the pelican by the beak, make sure you keep the beak closed.

-- Wrap the bird in a towel and place it in a pet kennel or large box with ventilation.

-- Call the Conservancy at 262-2273 before transporting the bird to the rehabilitation center.

For a fine series of photos and the full version of the article: © 2006 Naples Daily News and NDN Productions. Published in Naples, Florida, USA by the E.W. Scripps Co.


Brown Pelican flies away after recuperating in Cayman

The Cayman Wildlife Rescue volunteers successfully released a juvenile Brown Pelican that was rescued on Seven Mile Beach, his migration journey injured his wing and exhausted him.

The pelican was found by a concerned visitor, Barbara Holz, on Seven Mile Beach on 24 November 2006.

When the bird did fly away upon being approached, but rather stumbled along the beach trying to fly, it was evident that something was wrong, and Mrs. Holz contacted the Cayman Wildlife Rescue Hotline – 917-BIRD.

Upon arriving at the scene volunteers captured the pelican and took it to the vet. The bird was exhausted from its migration, underweight and had an injured wing.

After assessment by the staff at Island Veterinary Services Pete the Pelican was taken to the Cayman Wildlife Rescue facility in South Sound, where a dedicated band of volunteers, made of Sara Galletly, Katie Attenborough, Jenny Murphy and Catherine Redfern medicated him and ensured that he was fed his high-protein and high-fat diet of herring and sprats twice a day.

He was also sprayed with fresh water everyday to prevent desiccation of the waterbirds skin and to encourage him to preen so that his natural skin oils would continue to coat his feathers and keep him waterproof and ready to swim upon his release.

After a month spent rehabilitating Pete the Pelican, Cayman Wildlife Rescue volunteers took him to the beach near South Sound Cemetery.

Tentatively waddling out of the carrier and getting a feel for being free, Pete the Pelican hopped along the beach and then opened his wings and lifted up into the air.

After a short, strong flight over the South Sound shallows he landed in the water and immediately started bathing.

He was monitored by volunteers for two hours who watched him fly, swim, bathe and fish, and it was determined that he was healthy and safe.

Most residents of Grand Cayman are familiar with winter visits of the Brown Pelican. According to Patricia Bradley’s “Birds of the Cayman Islands” (Caerulea Press, 1995) the Brown Pelicans that visit Cayman are casual short-stay visitors, although some birds, usually immature, occasionally stay overwinter. They can be found in small groups close inshore in marine sounds.

Cayman Wildlife Rescue is a collaborative volunteer organisation comprising volunteer members of the public, National Trust of the Cayman Islands, Island Veterinary Services, the Humane Society, the Department of Environment and Cayman Wildlife Connection. A small, quiet facility where animals can recuperate from injury and prepare for rehabilitation is maintained by volunteers and funded entirely by donations. http://www.caymannetnews.com/cgiscript/csArticles/articles/000100/010077.htm


Always for the birds
Mary Jane Park. Published January 3, 2007

Environmentalists and residents who live near tiny Bird Island are relieved and ecstatic that a newly formed corporation bought the property to use as a nature preserve.

Bird Island LLC paid $60,000 in December to acquire the promontory from Island Development Co., according to Pinellas County records.

"This is just a benevolent effort to protect and preserve an important piece of St. Petersburg history," said Martin Rice, a lawyer for the limited liability corporation.

St. Petersburg's Holland family had owned the island for years and had granted Clearwater developer Chris Scherer an option to buy it. Although land-use maps prohibited development of the island, the city received a drawing in August that showed four wooden solar-powered stilt houses on the property, each with a dock and space for two boats.

In putting together its comprehensive plan, the City Council gave the island preservation-land status in October.

"We are thrilled that Bird Island will now be kept in perpetuity for us, our children, our grandchildren and everyone beyond," said Barbara Heck, a St. Petersburg native and president of the Snell Isle Property Owners Association.


Bird Island, also known as Coffee Pot Island and the Coffee Pot bird colony, is home to about 500 breeding pairs of birds. The Audubon Society's 2006 count noted 482 breeding pairs, including 13 species.

Six - roseate spoonbills, reddish egrets, tricolored herons, little blue herons, snowy egrets and brown pelicans - are listed as species of special concern by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Lorraine Margeson, an environmental activist, called it "probably the most unique colonial nesting island in the state of Florida, this little teeny-tiny parcel right in the midst of a heavily urbanized area. It's just stunning when you look at the size of that place. This was really on a lot of people's minds."

Although city officials have urged some protection in the land-use plan that is going forward, the island doesn't have the designation yet, she said.

"With our generous and wonderful new owner, whom I call St. Pete's Santa Claus, they took care of the worry of anything possibly happening to the island," she said. "All of a sudden the clouds cleared, the sun came out and the sky opened up."

© 2007 • All Rights Reserved • St. Petersburg Times; http://www.sptimes.com/2007/01/03/Neighborhoodtimes/Always_for_the_birds.shtml


Ciba site danger remains, say feds
Toxic levels in Tombigbee River swamps are still a threat to the environment, according to the EPA, which may require a cleanup over a much larger area
Monday, January 01, 2007
By BEN RAINES, Staff Reporter

Tombigbee River swamps adjacent to the Ciba Corp. factory and Superfund site in McIntosh are still contaminated with DDT at levels dangerous to the environment, despite a cleanup effort by the company, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Ciba will likely be required to clean up a far larger area of the widely contaminated 370-acre swamp than the small 12-acre plot the company dug up in the 1990s, according to federal officials. EPA officials had allowed the company to clean just a small portion of the swamp, over the objections of other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Fish & Wildlife biologists did not believe such a limited cleanup would protect the Mobile-Tensaw Delta or Mobile Bay from DDT contamination.

"Risks to fish, wildlife and humans appear to extend from the (Ciba) site to Mobile Bay," concluded a 2002 Fish & Wildlife report. :::snip:::

For instance, DDT present in pelicans and fish in Mobile Bay can be linked to the contamination upstream based on the mix of certain compounds found in the DDT at both the Ciba site and in creatures living in the bay, according to documents from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. While company officials have long disputed that the DDT found in Mobile Bay fish, oysters and birds originated at their factory, University of South Alabama chemistry professor Wayne Ishfording -- after reviewing the federal data in 2003 described it as "one of the most compelling chemical fingerprints I've seen."

Federal officials have not yet determined how the swamps will be cleaned up, and said a decision would be reached in the next few months.

© 2007 The Mobile Register
© 2007 al.com http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/news/11676465768570.xml&coll=3




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