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