The Salton Sea Authority voted Thursday to contribute $45,000 to the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge for construction of pelican flight pens at cooperating rehabilitation facilities.
This contribution will be added to the $30,000 the refuge has already received for the pens from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as well as many in-kind contributions from cooperators.
California brown pelicans and American white pelicans need large flight pens during the final stages of recovery from avian diseases to strengthen their flight muscles prior to their release into the wild.
During the 2000 avian botulism outbreak, 1,100 pelicans were sent to facilities throughout Southern California for rehabilitation. The four facilities involved in the rehabilitation are the Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center in Indio, Pacific Wildlife in Irvine, Sea World in San Diego and Wetlands for Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach.