Registrations for the first ever Gippsland Lakes Pelican Count close on Sunday, 25 March.
Deb Sullivan, Birdlife Australia Project Officer in East Gippsland, said she was excited about the number of registrations received so far.
“We’ve had quite a few registrations already– but there are so many sites available we are still looking for more Counters,” said Ms Sullivan.
“The Count is a snapshot – like a census – of pelicans across the Gippsland Lakes taken at exactly the same time on the same day.
“Anyone can be involved in the count; pelicans are distinctive and easy to spot making it an event the whole family can be involved in,” continued Ms Sullivan.
The Count will be held from 11.30am to 12.00pm on Sunday, 8 April at many locations around the Gippsland Lakes.
“When you register to participate in the Count you will be allocated a site, relative to your registration preferences,” explained Ms Sullivan.
“We have both a nomadic and resident population of Pelicans at the Gippsland Lakes, but we don’t actually know a lot about them.”
The Gippsland Lakes is home to one of very few permanent pelican rookeries in Victoria. Pelicans are colonial nesters, meaning they nest en masse.
Their young form creches or up to 100 pelicans that stay together for around two months learning to fly, feed and fend for themselves.
Continued and consistent monitoring is vital to help inform the future management of the Gippsland Lakes and its surrounding wetlands.
Information gathered about species, like the Pelican, helps us understand what management actions are working and what are the needs of the species into the future.
“The Gippsland Lakes provide a refuge for nomadic Pelicans during time of regional and national drought,” continued Ms Sullivan.
“We would expect to see more pelicans around the Lakes in dry times as they look for food.
“Data from the Great Pelican Count will give information about current numbers and their locations.”
BirdLife Australia is dedicated to achieving outstanding conservation results for native Australian birds and their habitats.
This project is funded by the Victorian State Government for the health of the Gippsland Lakes.