Prevent Mass Die-Off of Federally Protected Pelicans

Target: Martha Williams, Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Strengthen protections and assistance for pelicans hit hard by apparent starvation and injury.

California is experiencing a pelican problem. Specifically, the state’s coastline has been host to a disturbing trend that has taken place over a matter of weeks. Rescuers have discovered over 250 critically ill pelicans, with more arriving by the day.

Emaciation, anemia, and secondary injuries were detected on most of the rescued birds. Many will succumb to their ailments, and this population only accounts for the pelicans able to make it to shore. Untold numbers could be dying at sea. Researchers have not yet uncovered the cause of this disturbing die-off, but starvation is theorized to be the driving force. Pelicans eat up to 50 pounds of fish per day. A sizeable percentage of the pelicans also present with injuries from fishing nets and fish-hooks. A similar event afflicted California-based pelicans several years ago.

The brown pelicans that are bearing the brunt of this distress are a federally protected species. Sign the petition below to urge the nation’s preeminent wildlife agency to bolster efforts to safeguard these wildlife in peril.


Dear Director Williams,

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has launched an investigation into the mysterious sickening and die-off of hundreds of brown pelicans along the California coast. They—along with other wildlife conservation advocates—need all the help they can get to find the root cause of this pressing issue and to properly rehabilitate the continued onslaught of critically ill birds. With the brown pelican’s distinction as a federal protected species, it should receive the full benefit of this status.

Help the brown pelican. Please invest in investigating and rehabilitating wildlife that are enduring extreme duress.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Frank Schulenburg

One Comment

  1. Federally protected Brown Pelicans are dying. Ms. Williams, this is in your wheel house. Pelicans eat 50 Pounds of fish a day and there are a lot of pelicans in trouble. This happened a while ago? A similar situation di present itself. Maybe you can learn from that. Starvation is at the top of consideration in these many deaths and the plight of the pelicans. It is you job to get to the bottom of this happening. AS usual it is usually the fishing industry at fault. Left over lines, and gear, plus hooks and I can’t imagine what else will kill and is oftentimes mean to do exactly that! A Federal protected species is … protected. Realizing that may make your job a tad easier but he solution must be found to the problem of dead Federally Protected Pelicans!

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