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GPS tracking of Brown Pelican in the South Atlantic Bight during cyclonic activity (2017-2018)

Data for Wilkinson et al. (2019) Tropical cyclones alter short-term activity patterns of a coastal seabird. Movement Ecology.


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Wilkinson, B.P., Satgé, Y.G., Lamb, J.S., and Jodice, P.G.R., 2019, GPS tracking of Brown Pelican in the South Atlantic Bight during cyclonic activity (2017-2018): U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This dataset comprises GPS locations analyzed in Wilkinson et al. (2019): 14,478 deployed GPS locations, for 32 Eastern brown pelicans tracked during Hurricanes Irma, Florence, and Michael in autumn 2017 and 2018, respectively. Funding for this study was provided by the U.S. Geological Survey Ecosystem Missions Area, and facilitated by Mona Khalil (USGS). Among seabirds, the Eastern brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis carolinensis) is a large-bodied coastal species inhabiting nearshore habitats. Breeding on sea islands free of mammalian predators in subtropical and tropical North America, colonies range in size from 10 - 5000 pairs. Egg laying (clutch size of 2-3 typical) occurs primarily in April and May, with each nest producing [...]


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GPS tracking of Brown Pelican in the South Atlantic Bight (2017-2018)_GPS extent map.png thumbnail 758.65 KB image/png
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This study focuses on the movements of Eastern brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis carolinensis) in the South Atlantic Bight during the passages of Hurricanes Irma, Florence, and Michael. The objectives of the study are to (1) document how pelicans alter their daily activity patterns in response to cyclonic activity, (2) highlight important habitats used by pelicans during cyclones, and (3) develop ideas about how seabirds respond to large-scale meteorologic activity as a driver of animal movement. We have deployed 54 remote-downloading GPS tags on adult pelicans in three colonies in coastal South Carolina. We have used tracking data to analyze the effects of disturbance on Brown Pelican behavior. This dataset only comprises data from to 2017-09-01 to 2018-09-30.


The authors of these data require that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata, and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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  • Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units
  • USGS Data Release Products



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DOI doi:10.5066/P9D5IP0G

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