Monday, November 17, 2014

Brown Pelican

"Brown Pelican", 29x24", Prismacolor on Cranson Paper


Brown pelican in flightIn the 1970s, the Brown Pelican's existence in the southeast United States and California was threatened by pesticides like DDT and Deildrin which caused the pelican's eggshells to become too thin and incapable of supporting an embryo to maturity. With the ban of DDT in 1972, the population of the brown pelican increased enough to be removed from the endangered list. 

However in 2009, California brown pelicans—a slightly smaller version of the subspecies seen on the East and Gulf Coasts —experienced unprecedented nesting failures, and have starved to death by the thousands because of a sharp decline in Pacific sardines, their most important food. The U.S. sardine famine is now in its sixth year and the production of California brown pelicans is extraordinarily low. 

To learn more see full details in this article by Ted Williams, longtime contributor to Audubon magazine, in the Yale Environment 360.

My goal in this series of endangered species, created in the mid-80s, was to capture the souls and spirits of our mute neighbors with whom we share the planet. I was captivated and haunted by the frank eyes of all of these creatures, so human in their longing and need, pleading silently for their future and ultimate survival. 

Thanks for viewing,

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

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