Shells of brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) eggs collected in South Carolina from 1969 through 1975 and in Florida during 1969, 1970, and 1974 were significantly thinner (P greater than 0.05) than eggshells collected before 1947. Thickness of South Carolina eggshells increased in 1975, and mean thickness of eggshells collected in Florida during 1974 was greater than that of eggshells collected during 1969 and 1970, primarily in Gulf Coast colonies. Residues of 13 organochlorines were found in eggs and tissues of pelicans found dead during 1974 and 1975, although residues in brains of these specimens were not high enough to cause death. Residues of organochlorines, except PCBs, declined through 1975. PCBs increased in eggs from Atlantic Coast colonies. Reproductive success and population status of brown pelicans in South Carolina have improved markedly since authors began their studies in 1969. Good reproductive success was reported in 3 of 5 years from 1973 through 1977.
Additional publication details
Effects of organochlorine residues on eggshell thickness, reproduction, and population status of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in South Carolina and Florida, 1969-76