Numbers and distribution of the Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus and the Pink-backed Pelican P. rufescens in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

  • Meyrick B Bowker
  • Richard H Taylor
  • Colleen T Downs

Abstract

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa, is the most southerly area in Africa in which the Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens breeds. This area also boasts the most southerly breeding colony on the eastern seaboard of Africa for the Great White Pelican P. onocrotalus. Considerable amounts  of data relating to the distribution and numbers of these two species in  north-eastern KZN have been collected in a variety of ways by a number  of people. These data were collated to estimate the distribution and status of the two pelican species and to evaluate any trends. There is no evidence of contraction or expansion in the distribution of either species. Numbers in south-eastern Africa are estimated to be 6 000–9 000 for  the Great White Pelican and 600–900 for the Pink-backed Pelican. Numbers of both species were highly variable at the main locality, Lake  St Lucia. For their long-term conservation it is necessary to take into account that neither population is restricted to the study area and that  there are fluctuations in their distributions and numbers.

OSTRICH 2010, 81(3): 179–188

Author Biographies

Meyrick B Bowker
School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa
Richard H Taylor
School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa;  Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Private Bag X01, St Lucia Estuary 3936, South Africa
Colleen T Downs
School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525