Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Louisiana's State Bird in Danger Again

The brown pelican is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty act of 1918.

In the early 1970’s, pesticides like DDT had put the brown pelican on the endangered species list. Research showed that the pesticide DDT caused the pelican eggshells to be too thin and incapable of supporting the embryo to maturity.

The US government imposed a ban on the use of DDT in 1972. Since then, the population of Brown Pelican has increased. Current estimates place the population at 650,000 individuals.

Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010, millions of barrels of crude oil dumping into the Gulf of Mexico has become a new threat to Louisiana’s state bird.

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