In the sixties and seventies, brown pelican populations decreased dramatically due to the consumption of fish that contained DDT and other hard pesticides. DDT causes the egg shells to be thinned to the point that the young can not survive. Populations recovered somewhat after DDT became unavailable; the range of this species has been slightly reduced.
US Migratory Bird Act: protected
US Federal List: endangered
CITES: no special status
State of Michigan List: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern