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Audubon Florida Awarded $5,000 Grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to Support Brown Pelican Banding Study

Hooking and entanglement in fishing gear injures hundreds of pelicans each year – a new study will help protect them.

Funding for this project is provided by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Brown Pelicans are often hooked and entangled in fishing gear, leading to injury and death. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is granting Audubon Florida $5,000 to begin the Brown Pelican banding project in the Tampa Bay region to learn more about survival rates following accidental hooking, and learn more about repeat entanglements for released birds. Our results will drive conservation efforts of this iconic species.

Entanglement occurs at various locations throughout Tampa Bay, but fishing piers are hotspots for this conflict between anglers and pelicans. Recently, rescue organizations have documented hundreds of pelicans hooked in a single month.

Audubon Florida’s goal is to band 50-100 birds over the initial 12-month period of the study. An additional 75-100 successfully rehabilitated Brown Pelicans will also be banded prior to release.

Current project partners include Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, Save Our Seabirds, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Hooked Pelican Working Group is a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Audubon Florida, park managers, rescuers, rehabilitators, and anglers that was formed to address this problem.

About Audubon Florida: Audubon Florida protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1900, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.

About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $520 million in more than 1,570 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $27.5 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $350 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.

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