State and federal biologists today released the first brown pelicans back into Louisiana coastal habitat since rescue and rehabilitation operations began following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The 15 pelicans were transported from the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Hammond and carefully off loaded on to Rabbit Island by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists and representatives from the International Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.
"We are pleased to see our state bird being returned to the coastal zone and applaud the efforts of the biologists who captured the distressed birds and the rehabilitation specialists who work diligently to ensure their survival," said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary.
Rabbit Island, within Calcasieu Lake, was selected as the release point due to its inland, southwestern Louisiana location which has not been impacted by any oil for the duration of the spill incident. The Cameron Parish location provides 220 acres inhabited by laughing gulls, brown pelicans, and a mix of wading birds that includes roseate spoonbills, herons and egrets.
For photos of today's event go to:
Since bird rescue and rehab began in April, 611 brown and white pelicans have been rescued alive in Louisiana. 248 have been successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild in Texas, Florida, Georgia, and now Louisiana.
For more information related to Louisiana's response to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 225/756-5115.