The brown pelican is known for its dramatic fishing displays, often plunging headlong into the water and then rising dramatically upward carrying a mouthful of fish. Sadly, this Pelican was also driven to near extinction as recently as 50 years ago, thus prompting protection under the Endangered Species Act. Thankfully, efforts by private conservation groups to purchase important nesting habitat, along with those of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve monitoring, have helped to improve the situation, and today Pelican numbers have soared to over 620,000 strong. With such remarkable success, it appears the only extinction likely to be in store for the Brown Pelican is its elimination from the Endangered Species List!