U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


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King, D.T., B.L. Goatcher, J.W. Fischer, J. Stanton, J.M. Lacour, S.C. Lemmons, and G. Wang. 2013. Home ranges and habitat use of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Waterbirds 36(4):494-500. doi: 10.1675/063.036.0406.


U.S. government work.


Little is known about movements and habitat use of Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We attached satellite transmitters to 18 adult Brown Pelicans (nine males, nine females) that were captured on Grand Isle along the Louisiana coast during 31 August-2 September 2010. Their movements and habitat use were tracked between September 2010 and March 2012. Nine of the Brown Pelicans remained proximate to the Louisiana coast; four ranged along the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana; three moved from Louisiana to Texas; and two migrated across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula. Annual 99% home range estimates varied widely ( = 10,611 km2, SE = 2,370), and males had larger ranges ( = 15,088 km2, SE = 2,219) than females ( = 6,133 km2, SE = 1,764). Habitats used by Brown Pelicans were primarily open water, estuarine emergent wetland, grassland, unconsolidated shore, and deep water habitat types.

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