Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Brown Pelican Term Paper

The Brown Pelican Research Paper

The chemical DDT almost caused the demise of the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) in the 1960s. Pelicans exposed to DDT laid eggs with thin or non-existent shells. Since DDT was banned in 1972, brown pelicans have made a remarkable recovery.

Increased efforts for seabird restoration, research, and monitoring are clearly needed in California's four national marine sanctuaries, Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Bank, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands. Over the past 200 years, seabird populations in California have been negatively impacted by a multitude of anthropogenic threats, especially oil pollution, gill net fishing, contaminants, disturbance at breeding colonies, loss of nesting habitats, and depredation.


Populations of several resident seabird species have declined and/or experienced poor reproduction. These include ashy storm-petrel, brown pelican, common murre, marbled and Xantus's murrelets, and least tern. Even with substantial efforts over the past few decades by federal and state agencies to protect seabirds, many populations and breeding colonies have not recovered to historic sizes or distributions, apparently due to a significant extent to massive past impacts and continuing anthropogenic impacts from several sources. Oil pollution, in particular, will occur into the foreseeable future given extensive oil tanker traffic into Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other ports; continued offshore oil production in Southern California; and chronic, illegal discharges by the shipping industry. Restoration projects are needed to reduce the impacts of certain anthropogenic sources on seabird populations. In conjunction with other management actions, restoration projects should allow many seabird populations to better sustain future injuries and to recover over time.

The National Marine Sanctuary Program has become a major partner with the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service to develop and implement large-scale restoration projects for seabirds in California, using funds from oil spill settlements. The first major seabird restoration project was initiated in 1995 and aims to re-establish a former breeding colony of common murres at Devil's Slide Rock south of San Francisco. About halfway through its 10-year planned duration, this project has had considerable success towards reaching this aim, with about 75 breeding pairs of common murres in 1999. A second project, initiated in 1998, involves public acquisition of residual old-growth forest in the Gazos Creek watershed.

Common murres (Uria aalge) nest in the densest colonies of all seabirds. Females lay one egg per season, holding the large pointed egg between their legs. Egg losses are high because of predation and disturbance by eagles and gulls.

The acquired land is used as nesting habitat by threatened marbled murrelets. By effectively managing this property, potential loss of nesting habitat through logging has been prevented, and reduced forest fragmentation and reduced disturbance should lead to reduced nest depredation and increased breeding success in this and neighboring areas. These two projects have helped to restore seabirds in the Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Bank, and northern Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries, using funds from the Apex Houston oil spill settlement.

Warning!!! All free sample term papers and college term paper examples on The Brown Pelican topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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