Pelican lovers unite for the annual count



This is a huge shout out to pelican lovers of all ages and abilities across the Gippsland Lakes to become part of history as you contribute information to help conserve Australian Pelicans.

The BirdLife Australia Gippsland Lakes Great Pelican Count is on Sunday 10 April from 11.30am – 12 noon and everyone is invited.

The annual event is a citizen science extravaganza where the community unites to count the iconic pelicans from the land, kayaks and boats at nominated locations. Results collected by each participant contributes to the bigger picture of understanding the pelican population changes to inform their ongoing conservation.

“The count is an easy way for individuals, families and children to be involved in citizen science and help the pelicans,” says project coordinator Deb Sullivan, East Gippsland Conservation Coordinator for BirdLife Australia.

“Like our human census, the Great Pelican Count is a snapshot survey of just 30 minutes at various sites across the Gippsland Lakes and fringing wetlands. Results record changes in the population to help us to better manage and protect these birds.”

“We encourage everyone to sign up for a monitoring site. Make an afternoon of it by packing a picnic so family and friends can get out to enjoy the beautiful lakes and environment,” says Deb.

All counters need to register online by Monday 4 April to be allocated a location and receive all the details you need.

Gippsland Lakes is home to one of only two remaining permanent breeding rookeries in Victoria – where there were once ten.

Results contribute to the larger the BirdLife Australia Gippsland Lakes Pelican Project funded by the Love Our Lakes program which is a long-term monitoring program involving colour banding and tracking of the birds.

 “I love people getting involved and the fact that people embrace the pelicans so enthusiastically. They are such an iconic bird and important to the Traditional Owners of the Gippsland Lakes. There is a comfort in going to the water and seeing a pelican.”

“Everybody has a story about a pelican that holds in their memory,” said Deb. Create your own pelican story on Sunday 10 April – see you out there …