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California investigates sick and dying brown pelicans | News, Sports, Jobs








California brown pelicans take flight off Thornehill Broome Beach near Point Mugu, California on May 16, 2021. Wildlife authorities are trying to determine why large numbers of California brown pelicans are being found sick and dying. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says hundreds of pelicans have been admitted to wildlife rehabilitation centers in southern and central California since around May 13. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wildlife authorities are trying to determine why large numbers of California brown pelicans are found sick and dying.

Hundreds of pelicans, which are a protected species in the state, have been admitted to wildlife rehabilitation centers in southern and central California since around May 13, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said. in a press release.

“Pelicans were found emaciated and often with secondary wounds or broken wings. Many of these birds died soon after arriving at a facility,” It said.

Results of post-mortem examinations and tests on pelicans brought to rehabilitation centers indicate that the birds are dying of starvation-related issues, and there are no indications of unusual disease or parasites.

“CDFW is unable to provide information on the underlying cause of this event at this time,” says the department.

Brown pelicans are an important part of the Pacific coast ecosystem, feeding on northern anchovy, Pacific sardine, and mackerel.

Wildlife officials have urged the public to call a local wildlife rehabilitation center if they see a sick or injured pelican, and also to email the state wildlife health lab. But they warned people not to touch or try to feed the birds.

People can use an online mortality declaration form when they find a dead pelican.

Impact of pesticide DDT, which caused eggshells to thin, led to California brown pelicans being listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act of disappearance in 1970.

After the DDT ban, the species recovered and was removed from the United States Endangered Species List in 2009. It remains protected under state law.