Pink-backed Pelican

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Common Name: Pink-backed Pelican
Scientific Name: Pelecanus rufescens

Size: 42-54 inches (106-137 cm)

Habitat: Africa; breeds in Africa, southern Arabia and apparently now extinct in Madagascar. Found in swamps and shallow lakes.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 50,000 - 100,000 mature individuals. This species has a large range and is widespread however there have been significant population declines. There are threats by habitat loss in KwaZulu-Natal, as many suitable pans and flood-plains are being altered through drainage and cultivation, and the natural flooding regime of pans in the Pongolo system has been altered by the Jozini Dam. In southern Africa disturbance of the species is increasing at estuaries as these areas become more intensively used and developed. The species is also susceptible to bioaccumulation of toxins in their body tissue, which may lead to a decline in reproductive success. Destruction of nesting trees due to logging activities is a problem as well.

Diet: Fish and some marine invertebrates. Prey is caught by fishing from the water surface in groups.

Nesting: Breeding adults have long feather plumes on the head. The nest is a large heap of sticks, into which 2-3 large white eggs are laid. The chicks feed by plunging their heads deep into the adult’s pouch and taking the partially digested regurgitated fish. All Pelicans nest in colonies.

Cool Facts: This pelican was originally called the "Grey Pelican". It is locally nomadic in southern Africa in response to changing wetland conditions, and western African populations make northward movements into sub-Saharan steppe during the wet season, returning southwards in the dry season.

Found in Songbird ReMix Pelicans

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