MORE THAN 30 BROWN PELICANS RESCUED BY SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK IN TWO DAYS

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Source: Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network

Over the weekend, Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN) experienced an unusually high influx of brown pelican patients. In just two days, more than 30 brown pelicans were rescued and brought to SBWCN to receive care. Most of these birds arrived severely emaciated, weak, and unable to fly. The exact cause of their condition is unknown at this time.

These pelicans have been rescued from all over Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Most of them are beached, unable to fly or move, or are found in an unusual location. SBWCN’s team of rescuers and volunteers have been retrieving and transporting these patients to their rehabilitation facility in Goleta. Seven pelicans were rescued on Saturday, and 25 pelicans were rescued on Sunday.

All new patients receive a full intake exam upon arriving at SBWCN. Most of these pelicans are found to be emaciated, some are hypothermic, and a few have additional injuries. The SBWCN team is treating these birds by providing fluids, medication, warmth, and supportive care. The team is working with other nearby wildlife centers to transport some of these birds and assist in their rehabilitation.

Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network’s brand new Wildlife Hospital is providing critical space and resources to assist in this emergency. The doors to this building opened in February of 2022 and features 5,400 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities. The Seabird Bay, where seabirds in critical condition are held, normally only house a handful of patients. Currently, this room is converted into a large pen in order to accommodate all of the new pelicans in care. This situation is also occurring in the middle of spring baby season, where SBWCN receives hundreds of orphaned baby birds and mammals in need of care. Currently, there are more than 250 total patients in care.

“I’m so proud of our staff, volunteers, and the entire community for jumping into action to help these pelicans,” said Ariana Katovich, Executive Director of SBWCN. “While we’re still unsure what’s causing this emergency situation, we are continuing to take in these birds and help them in any way we can.”

If the public finds a pelican they believe needs help, please call the SBWCN Helpline and provide the details and exact location of the bird: (805) 681-1080. If the bird is deceased, do not touch or handle it. Please report it to the SBWCN Helpline. SBWCN is open from 8:30 AM–5 PM every day.

The public can support SBWCN during this time by making a donation to support the purchase of medications, fluids, food, and additional supplies. Donations can be made online: www.sbwcn.org/donate


About Brown Pelicans

Brown pelicans are large seabirds that range anywhere from 8–10 pounds with a wingspan between 6.5–7.5 feet. They are common residents of the southern coasts of the United States, with ranges extending down to South America. They are known for plunge-diving into the ocean to catch their food – one of only two pelican species to do so. These social birds can be found congregating in large flocks almost year round. Populations reached dangerously low numbers in the 1960s due to pollution from the pesticide DDT, and the species was listed as endangered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1972. Thanks to DDT regulations and conservation recovery efforts, the brown pelican has since been removed from the endangered species list.

About Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network

Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1988. For over 30 years, SBWCN has served to rescue, rehabilitate, and return to the wild sick, injured, orphaned, and oil-impaired animals in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and to educate the public about living in harmony with wildlife. SBWCN takes care of more than 4,000 patients per year, including small mammals, seabirds, songbirds, raptors, and herptiles. The SBWCN Helpline is available everyday from 9 AM–5 PM for animal emergencies and wildlife advice: (805) 681-1080. Donations in support of this work can be made at www.sbwcn.org/donate.

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Sun May 17, 2022 05:33 PM
MORE THAN 30 BROWN PELICANS RESCUED BY SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK IN TWO DAYS

The Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) is one of eleven regions that contributes to the national U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®). The regional observing systems work to collect, integrate, and deliver coastal and ocean observations in order to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment. The principal goal of SCCOOS is to provide observations and products to a diverse stakeholder community of managers and planners, operational decision makers, scientists, and the general public. As the regional observing system for Southern California, SCCOOS, has developed the capabilities to support short-term decision-making and long-term assessment by implementing and leveraging biological, chemical, and physical observations and models, many of which are available in near real-time. SCCOOS priorities and objectives are aligned with the seven societal goals as outlined in the IOOS Summit Report. The focus themes, as designated by IOOS, highlight these priorities and are designed to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect our environment.

Harmful algal bloom (HAB) events threaten human health, living marine resources, and ecosystem health. Domoic acid (DA), a neurotoxin produced by some diatom species of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia, is responsible for frequent large-scale marine mammal and seabird mortalities along California’s coasts due to its accumulation in marine food webs (e.g., sardines and anchovies) and subsequent exposure in top predators. California sea lions, Zalophus californianus, are among the most frequent marine mammal victims of DA poisoning. Marine mammal strandings presenting with neurological symptoms (e.g., lethargy, disorientation and seizures) are often associated with DA, and if not treated, will cause death. Massive toxic blooom events led to the mass mortality event for marine mammals in the Southern California Bight during 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2017.

Several rehabilitation centers throughout the state are working to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured marine mammals including the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center (NMMC), The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC), Channel Islands Marine Wildlife Institute (CIMWI), California Wildlife Center (CWC), Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles (MMCC-LA), Marine Animal Rescue (MAR), Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC), and SeaWorld.
https://sccoos.org/harmful-algal-bloom/

Sun May 17, 2022 06:15 PM
MORE THAN 30 BROWN PELICANS RESCUED BY SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK IN TWO DAYS

ERDDAP

ERDDAP is a data server that gives you a simple, consistent way to download subsets of scientific datasets in common file formats and make graphs and maps. This particular ERDDAP installation has oceanographic data (for example, data from satellites and buoys).
https://erddap.sccoos.org/erddap/tabledap/index.html?page=1&itemsPerPage=1000

Stern Wharf
https://erddap.sccoos.org/erddap/tabledap/HABs-StearnsWharf.html
https://erddap.sccoos.org/erddap/tabledap/HABs-StearnsWharf.htmlTable?latitude%2Clongitude%2Cdepth%2CSampleID%2CLocation_Code%2Ctime%2CTemp%2CAir_
Temp%2CSalinity%2CChl_Volume_Filtered%2CChl1%2CChl2%2CAvg_Chloro%2CPhaeo1%2C
Phaeo2%2CAvg_Phaeo%2CPhosphate%2CSilicate%2CNitrite%2CNitrite_Nitrate%2CAmmonium
%2CNitrate%2CDA_Volume_Filtered%2CpDA%2CtDA%2CdDA%2CVolume_Settled_for_Counting
%2CAkashiwo_sanguinea%2CAlexandrium_spp%2CDinophysis_spp%2CLingulodinium_polyedra%
2CProrocentrum_spp%2CPseudo_nitzschia_delicatissima_group%2CPseudo_nitzschia_seriata_group
%2CCeratium%2CCochlodinium%2CGymnodinium_spp%2COther_Diatoms%2COther_
Dinoflagellates%2CTotal_Phytoplankton&time%3E=2022-04-17T00%3A00%3A00Z&time%3C=2022-04-24T15%3A00%3A00Z

Sun May 17, 2022 06:55 PM
MORE THAN 30 BROWN PELICANS RESCUED BY SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK IN TWO DAYS

This is interesting:

Pseudo-nitzschia spp.
https://calhabmap.org/pseudo-nitzschia-spp

Toxin Produced: Domoic Acid

Syndrome: Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning

The connection between phytoplankton and domoic acid was discovered in 1987, when over 100 people were sickened and three died following consumption of DA-contaminated mussels from eastern Prince Edward Island, Canada. In California, DA was first recognized in September 1991 in Monterey Bay, when the deaths of more than 100 brown pelicans and cormorants were linked to DA poisoning. Since then, the toxin has been implicated in other deaths of marine mammals and seabirds between Monterey Bay and San Diego.

Some species of the marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia can produce domoic acid (DA), a naturally occurring but rare amino acid that is toxic to marine mammals, seabirds, and to humans. Affected individuals may experience gastrointestinal disorders and neurological problems. One of the primary symptoms, amnesia, led to the naming of the syndrome as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP).

At least nine species of Pseudo-nitzschia are now known to produce DA. In California, Pseudo-nitzschia australis and Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries are the main toxin producers.

a-1652941593 May 18, 2022 11:26 PM
MORE THAN 30 BROWN PELICANS RESCUED BY SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK IN TWO DAYS

WCN May 18:
"The number of emaciated pelicans continues to rise at SBWCN. Another 34 pelicans were brought in on Tuesday, bringing the total number of rescued pelicans since Saturday morning to 92. We are transferring many of these birds to other wildlife rehabilitation centers to help lighten the load."

Sun May 19, 2022 08:07 AM
MORE THAN 30 BROWN PELICANS RESCUED BY SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK IN TWO DAYS

SBSBSB unfortunately wishful thinking…this year we are witnessing mass fish die off in Chile mass starfish die-off in the UK, mass fish die-off India Japan, and more. In 2021 there was mass fish die off across the USA, fish populations are having a tough time surviving intense hot weather patterns, droughts and algal blooms…3 million pounds of dead fish were removed from Tampa Bay from red tide bloom,Boca Raton, Palm Beach all had fish die off. Lakes and rivers thorough the USA are also impacted, causing mass fish die-off….Everything is connected and all pollution is cumulative. CO2 emissions are out of control around the world, our oceans are dying…
Ocean life projected to die off in mass extinction if emissions remain high
Marine animals could die off at a level rivaling the biggest mass extinctions in geologic history if people don’t curb greenhouse gas emissions.
https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/ocean-life-mass-extinction-emissions-high-rcna26295

a-1653619948 May 26, 2022 07:52 PM
MORE THAN 30 BROWN PELICANS RESCUED BY SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK IN TWO DAYS

May 26 update from their email:
"It's been a long 12 days, but the number of pelican rescues has finally starting slowing down over the last few days. Our total number of rescues since May 14 is now over 230. While we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ve seen the worst of it, we are still unsure of the reason why these birds are turning up emaciated, dehydrated, and hypothermic. California Department of Fish and Wildlife is continuing to investigate potential causes.

We currently have about 90 pelicans in care here at SBWCN, so there's still a lot of work to be done to rehabilitate these birds. Luckily, many of these patients are responding well to treatment, and most have moved out of our hospital and into our large outdoor aviaries.

https://www.sbwcn.org/pelicans

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