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News Release

Tests Continue to Determine Cause of Pelican Deaths

CONTACT: Bill Logan, Public Works Communications Manager, 727-893-7250 (o) or

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (February 3, 2017) –   Scientists continue looking into the January illness and death of Pinellas County brown pelicans following initial inconclusive test results. A report released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission indicates more testing is needed to determine the cause of death of 70 brown and one white pelicans.

Since January 11th St. Petersburg Water Resources workers have collected water samples – with results showing water quality within acceptable ranges for recreational use.  Also, independent biologists from Arcadis, brought in to investigate the water quality and to provide more in-depth testing, as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), have continued their pursuit of a basis for the sickness. 

To date, no definitive source has been identified, although tests for avian influenza and arboviruses, have been negative.  Other diagnostic tests, including those for avian botulism, are still pending.

The full findings are detailed in the FWC Pelican Mortality Update, which is available at

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