Tourism aiding citizen science
Skipper Peter of Lakes Explorer (a Wildlife Tourism Australia member) has been providing boat transport to the remote island rookery for scientist (Deb Sullivan), professional photographers and others; and secondary, encouraging tourists (on his boat) to look out for banded Pelicans while providing tours (not near rookery).
There are only two known breeding sites of Pelicans in Victoria. One these sites is a remote island within the Gippsland Lakes in eastern Victoria. This site is monitored annually. Last year, the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning DELWP (State Government) and Birdlife Australia received special funding to study where young Pelicans go when leaving the rookery….Last year, the Pelican rookery had about 50 young which were monitored weekly at a distance. At 4 months old, 18 juvenile Pelicans were caught under Permit, details recorded, blood sampling and banded with anklets on each leg. Eighteen young Pelicans now have a bold red band with a white number (201-218). All Pelicans, both adults and juveniles left the rookery about a month after banding.Over the last 9 months, only 2 banded juvenile Pelicans have been spotted: 205 seen briefly in Lakes Entrance last month and 217 last seen last month at Soldiers Point NSW, 700 km from East Gippsland. No other juvenile banded Pelicans have been seen! We also have 5 adult banded Pelicans which were caught due to injuries (fishing line etc) around Lakes Entrance and these birds are seen regularly thus records are kept on where and when they are seen…..
It would be great if WTA members could keep a look-out for banded Pelicans. If spotted, please send details to [email protected] or comment on Facebook Page Love our Pelicans