Determine Daily and Seasonal Movement of Brown Pelicans in the Bahia Grande Wetland Complex

This project deals with the collection of data to understand and therefore predict the movements of Brown Pelicans in the Bahía Grande Wetland Complex, Texas. The goal of the project is to deliver data and models that TxDOT will use to predict and mitigate pelican mortality events associated with roadways in the region.The researchers will conduct data collection and develop a model using a strong conceptual framework of pelican mortality risk. This framework involves breaking down the problem into: (a) the frequency with which pelicans cross or interact with local roads and bridges; and (b) existing, ongoing work that describes the likelihood that mortality events shall occur at specific sites because of bridge/road design and weather events. To accomplish this, the researchers, along with local ornithologists, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel, scientists, and other interested parties will capture, band, collect physiological/morphological data, and attach Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers to the birds. The GPS tracking system will enable the research team to track individual birds in the region with high resolution; while a distributed citizen science monitoring program will assemble a complementary database of broader scale pelican activity and movement. The data collection efforts will be driven by wildlife ecologists specializing in seabird ecology, physiology, and population dynamics. The complimentary data collection methods, undertaken over a two-year period shall provide high-quality data essential for the development of quantitative pelican mortality risk models. The researchers will develop these risk models which will be useful for predicting current and future pelican mortality, and therefore for developing novel, cost-effective solutions to reduce pelican-road mortality incidents in the region.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $513,927
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Glancy, Chris

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Birt, Andrew

  • Start Date: 20170901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210331
  • Actual Completion Date: 20210331

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01648637
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6970
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 20 2017 12:43PM