Oil Spill Hits Gulf Coast Habitats
Conservationists see Louisiana’s brown pelican as symbol of wildlife risk
(Pictures: Gulf Oil Spill Hits Land—And Wildlife.)
Even though the state bird of Louisiana, once on the brink of extinction, has recovered greatly in numbers overall, the brown pelican still has struggled along the shores of the Pelican State because of assault from harsh weather and oil spills. In fact, for 13 years, wildlife officials tried to aid the pelican’s recovery here by capturing young birds in Florida and bringing them to Louisiana.
"The brown pelican was just pulled off the endangered species list, and they are sitting on nest in the barrier islands … the first point of contact for oil," said Melanie Driscoll, director of bird conservation for the Louisiana Coastal Initiative of the National