Pelicans And The Pelican Rescue Team
Pelicans are faced with many daily difficulties…
Pelicans are considered pests to some fishermen who dislike their presence because of opportunistic pelicans “stealing” their fish.. A great danger to the pelican is the accidental hooking of the bird by a person fishing. The hook is not the most dangerous to the bird but the monofilament fishing line is. The excess trailing line that could be many feet long can causes the bird to become entangled. If the line gets wrapped around the leg it will cause a slow strangulation if the leg, intense pain, infection, and death of the foot. Line wraps around the wings of the bird resulting in cut tendons witch hampers them from flying and inevitable starvation.
Brown pelicans received severe exposure to DDT and other contaminants through consumption of contaminated fish. As was the case with many birds, this exposure resulted in the production of eggs with thin eggshells that were unable to withstand the weight of the parent during incubation, resulting in crushed eggs instead of healthy chicks. As a consequence, the number of chicks produced each year declined dramatically, and the population was severely reduced.
Other major factors contributing to the decline of the species include habitat loss, local food shortages, and human disturbance,. Pelicans require undisturbed habitat and abundant supplies of fish, particularly during the breeding season. If nesting pelicans are startled while on the nest, their abrupt departure often crushes their eggs. If sufficient food supplies are not readily available, pelicans will abandon breeding colonies. Factors contributing to decreased food availability include commercial fishing and naturally-occurring increases in ocean water temperature.