Once classified as endangered, the brown pelican is staging a comeback. At one time the only known nesting flock in the 1970s was on Ocracoke. Kowite discusses reasons why the pelican became endangered and how it survived to thrive in North Carolina.
In the 1970s, there were no more than ninety breeding pairs of brown pelicans in North Carolina. In 2007, there forty times that many. Gery discusses reasons for the pelican's decline, its comeback, and how its movements are tracked.
North Carolina's only nesting colony of brown pelicans was discovered in 1929 on Royal Shoal, a low island located about ten miles northwest of Ocracoke Island in Pamlico Sound. Wooten discusses follow-up sightings and studies and why the brown pelican is on the endangered species list.