It’s not easy being feathered when seemingly every fancy lady would have you shot in order to furnish her with hats. Though it survived the plume hunters of the 19th century, the brown pelican later fell prey to chemicals in the environment, until its population had declined severely.
Conservation efforts starting in the 1970s brought it back—and it was delisted in 2009. But there’s still bad news: the smaller, California brown pelican is struggling now, as the sardines that comprise the majority of its diet suffer a species collapse.
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