After a hundred years of special protection the brown pelican has been removed from the endangered species list, according to federal officials. The bird’s population has reached more than 650,000 in North and Central USA since the threat of hunting has waned. “The brown pelican is a fixture in Southern California and along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida, where Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island to protect the bird from human slaughter. It is an icon in Louisiana, where it is the state bird and where Interior Department officials assembled Wednesday at the Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge near New Orleans to proclaim the brown pelican "fully recovered" and no longer in need of federal protection,” reports the LA Times.