As many of you know, over the past several years International Bird Rescue’s wildlife centers in Northern and Southern California have seen an influx in sick and starving Brown Pelicans.
Though this iconic bird of the Pacific Coast was removed from the Endangered Species List nearly five years ago, pelicans routinely need our help for many reasons: emaciation, domoic acid poisoning, fishing tackle injuries and oil contamination are all common problems we see. A lot of us got involved in this work because of our love of pelicans, and it’s hard to see them in this predicament.
When the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service took the Brown Pelican off the Endangered Species List in 2009, it was supposed to conduct monitoring to ensure continued progress. But we’re concerned that this vital conservation action hasn’t begun. So we’ve teamed up with our friends at Audubon California to advocate for this beloved bird.
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Since 2010, we’ve seen starving pelicans seeking food inland. At the same time, breeding in the Channel Islands has failed five years in a row – the first time this has happened in 20 years. Biologists are attributing the breeding failures to a lack of sardines and anchovies near colonies.
If we’re going to figure out what’s happening with this bird – and take steps to protect it – we need the Service to follow though with monitoring and conservation action. Let’s work together to make this happen.
Team International Bird Rescue
P.S. Here’s suggested e-mail text:
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org:
Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 8:
I am writing to request that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service finalize a plan to monitor the status of the Pacific subspecies of the Brown Pelican, and initiate colony monitoring at the Channel Islands.
As you know, this iconic coastal bird was removed from the Endangered Species List in 2009, after its numbers recovered dramatically over the previous 30 years. Unfortunately, recent breeding failures on southern California islands, as well as starvation events in California and Oregon, have prompted new concerns about the Brown Pelican’s status.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has yet to finalize or implement the post-delisting monitoring plan that the Endangered Species Act requires for all delisted species. As the Service said following the delisting in 2009: “The intent of this monitoring is to determine whether the species should be proposed for relisting, or kept off the list because it remains neither threatened or endangered.”
Right now, with no plan in place to guide monitoring and coordination, essential post-delisting activities are not taking place, and there is little information to inform a five-year status review due in 2014.
I understand that this request comes at a time when federal budget cuts have limited the Service’s ability to conduct every conservation program under its purview. At the same time, the Service’s failure to put in place a post-delisting monitoring program for the Brown Pelican undermines the Endangered Species Act, and threatens one of the Act’s greatest conservation victories since its passage.
Again, I ask that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service immediately move to finalize and implement its post-delisting monitoring program for the Pacific subspecies of the Brown Pelican.
Please e-mail to: email@example.com