Reintroduction and Colony Expansion of the Brown Pelican in Louisiana

The eastern brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis carolinensis) virtually disappeared from Louisiana by 1963. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (FGFWFC) reintroduced from Florida to southeastern Louisiana 1,276 fledgling pelicans at 3 release sites between 1968 and 1980. Florida transplants established 2 restored nesting populations, 1 at North Island in the Chandeleur Island chain and 1 at Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay. The LDWF transplanted 149 fledglings from the Queen Bess colony to Last Island, Isles Dernieres, between 1984 and 1986 which resulted in a third nesting colony. Natural colony expansion occurred in 1990 when more than 100 nests were produced on the Mississippi River mud lumps and on Grand Gosier Island at the south end of the Chandeleur Island chain. The Queen Bess colony fledged 6,051 pelicans between 1971 and 1990. North Island production was 7,609 fledglings between 1979 and 1990. Last Island production was 780 between 1987 and 1990.

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