Conservation group working to protect local pelicans
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — The Naples Pier is a popular fishing spot, but is also a place where a lot of animals are injured.
Between 2019 and 2020, there was a 112-percent increase in the number of brown pelicans admitted to the Von Arx Animal Hospital in Naples.
Officials with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida hope that they can educate people at the pier and make them aware that it is a hot spot for shorebird injuries.
A lot of pelicans are reported as injured at the Naples Pier. The rise in injuries is due, in part, to anglers on the pier, experts said.
Some protection measures are being enforced, like banning fish hooks and lures, and officials have added signs showing what do if you accidentally hook a bird.
Also, an official with Conservancy of Southwest Florida patrols the pier and helps out if a bird snags a line.
Despite all the safety efforts, birds are still getting hurt and experts think that more needs to be done.
The Conservancy is asking Naples City Council to consider more options that will prevent injuries — like the removal of the bulk fishing license, increasing the amount of patrol coverage, and reducing fishing hours on the pier.
A presentation to city council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, at 8:30 a.m.
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