El Niño Is Likely Cause of Pelican Deaths

El Niño might be bringing much-needed rain to California, but it’s also likely causing a surprising die-off of hundreds of brown pelicans in the Bay Area, the Chron reports. The El Niño weather pattern has stirred up ocean currents, and made it more difficult for the pelicans to find fish, and so they’re dying of starvation. “We think it’s probably related to El Niño and the big storms,” Esther Burkett, a wildlife biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game, told the newspaper. “When the ocean gets all mixed up, the fish are moving around and the birds cannot find them. The majority of birds we found were just weakened by the lack of food.”

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