Welcome to Project Pelican's website
This scientific project was created to understand the ecology of Brown Pelicans in the northern Gulf of Mexico and to inform a better development of the oil and gas industry in the region.
Using satellite tracking, we are studying the movements of adults year round. We also use plastic band to study the dispersal and survival of juveniles during the winter months.
Among the various tool that we use, plastic bands are very useful for obtaining information about migrations of juveniles after they leave the nests where they are born. During the summer of 2014, we marked 300 young pelicans with green plastic bands on the Texas coast. In 2015, we banded 300 new pelicans with blue plastic bands, on breeding colonies in the Florida Panhandle and in Mobile Bay, AL.
Previous studies have shown that, while some pelicans nesting on the US coast migrate to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Cuba, others do not travel as far and spend the winter along the Gulf coast. As we try to gather more information on this species' whereabouts, we are collecting observations of pelicans wearing plastic bands.
You can help us by reporting your observations.
Other projects have also used plastic bands to mark pelicans along the Gulf coast. These projects have used different colors and codes (three letters and/or numbers) but if you have seen any of these bands, you can report them here as well, and we will make sure our colleagues know!
Our GPS tracking data is now accessible by the public. Read more...
Our article on the influence of density-dependent competition on foraging and migratory behavior of Brown pelicans is now freely available online! Read more...
We started our new GPS-tracking study of Brown pelicans in South Carolina: 25 GPS-trackers deployed, 5 more to go! Read more...