The American white pelican are classified as Sensitive in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report.
- The most significant factor affecting white pelican populations in Alberta is the disturbance of their breeding sites. Human
disturbance, even if motivated by simple curiosity and attraction, has been the most common cause of colony failure and
abandonment in the past century.
- Loss of habitat from changing water levels is another form of disturbance affecting pelican breeding populations and is
the most common reason for the temporary abandonment of a colony.
- As predators at the top of their food chain, white pelicans are also at risk of accumulating toxins that occur in their
- The American white pelican is protected by the provincial Wildlife Act and it is illegal to kill or harass individuals
or disturb their nests at any time of the year.
Updated: Jan 8, 2014