Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pelicans, Back From Brink of Extinction, Face Oil Threat

(Top Photo: Charlie Riedel/Associated Press: An oiled brown pelican being rescued from Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana. Bottom photo: Brown pelican - public domain National Park Service photo
by Rodney Cammauf: Everglades Wildlife Images)

The Louisiana State Bird (Brown Pelican) nearly lost but was saved, yet now is threatened -- again.

The New York Times
Published: June 4, 2010

"FORT JACKSON, La. — For more than a decade, the hundreds of brown pelicans that nested among the mangrove shrubs on Queen Bess Island west of here were living proof that a species brought to the edge of extinction could come back and thrive.

The island was one of three sites in Louisiana where the large, long-billed birds were reintroduced after pesticides wiped them out in the state in the 1960s.

But on Thursday, 29 of the birds, their feathers so coated in thick brown sludge that their natural white and gray markings were totally obscured, were airlifted to a bird rehabilitation center in Fort Jackson, the latest victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Another dozen were taken to other rescue centers. " More (& check out the multimedia column)>>>>

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