Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in the southeastern United States constitute a valuable study population for investigating coastal ecological systems. To resolve in formation gaps for the species in the Atlantic Bight, PhD student Bradley Wilkinson is tracking 45 adult pelicans with satellite transmitters breeding at four colonies in South Carolina. In addition to habitat use patterns, both natural and anthropogenic disturbances will also be investigated to provide baseline risk assessments. These include the impacts of large-scale meteorological events such as hurricanes, potential interactions with offshore energy development, oil spill risk assessment modeling, and the magnitude of influence on pelican nestlings posed by the local shrimp trawling fleet. We expect to also deploy transmitters at locations in Georgia and northern Florida.
Contact: Patrick Jodice, USGS – South Carolina Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org