Fishing-line, Transparent Death

Banded Brown Pelican, Bird Island, died struggling to escape fishing line 2/14
Banded Brown Pelican, Bird Island, died struggling to escape fishing line in the Indian River Lagoon. 2/16/14

Not a fun photo to see, but one that needs to be seen. This brown pelican was found at Bird Island, or MC-2, a well known  bird rookery, just 100 feet off of Sewall’s Point. The bird, like many others, had become entangled in transparent fishing line, and in its struggle actually pulled its foot off trying to escape. Unfortunately,  the line was caught around the metal band as well.

In 2012, when I was mayor of Sewall’s Point, I worked closely with The Florida Wildlife Commission and Martin County as they built a break wall to stabilize the erosion on  the north end of Bird Island. During this time, they were required to monitor the island. On average, there were one to two birds per week found tangled in fishing line during this time. Many were euthanized as they were emaciated and weakened; a few recovered for a second chance, at the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center, http://www.tcwild.org. This was an eye opening experience for me. What of all the birds that are never reported or found when they are not monitoring? Transparent death…

Personally, I don’t see how these magnificent water birds can  keep their population numbers up with such terrible odds.

Let’s help them out and be sure to safely throw away our fishing line.

If you find an entangled bird call the Sheriff’s Department,  Animal Control at 772-220-7170.

The above pelican was found by Sunshine Wildlife Tours operator, Captain Nancy Beaver, she states:

“This is why I don’t like metal banding of birds! I have seen many lose a foot or die
because they don’t release. This poor bird was alive when I found him and he had ripped his foot off attempting to free himself.” http://www.sunshinewildlifetours.com

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