Surveys and bird counts

Great Borun (Pelican) Count

  • Date and time Ongoing
  • Locations Gippsland Lakes, Mallacoota

Great Borun (Pelican) Count

BirdLife Australia’s Great Borun (Pelican) Count is an annual citizen scientist event that invites people of all ages and abilities to survey pelicans. We aim to conduct 30-minute pelican surveys at various sites across the Gippsland Lakes and fringing wetlands, all simultaneously on the same day.

The resulting information from these surveys allows us to record changes in Gippsland’s pelican populations, contributing to better management and protection for these majestic waterbirds.

Where do I do my surveys?

Anybody in East Gippsland can participate in the Great Borun (Pelican) Count. You can count pelicans from the land, from a kayak or from a boat at any of our nominated locations – anywhere from the Gippsland Lakes to Mallacoota.

What’s the Purpose of the Great Borun (Pelican) Count?

This event provides you with the opportunity to collect information which will help conserve Australian Pelicans.

The Gippsland Lakes provide a refuge for nomadic pelicans during times of drought, and they are home to one of only two remaining permanent breeding colonies of pelicans in Victoria (there used to be ten such colonies).

Pelicans are highly mobile birds, moving to and from the coast in response to rainfall – but we don’t know how many leave the Lakes or where they go – and that’s where you can help.

Results from The Great Pelican Count provide insight into population fluctuations from year to year. This valuable information also feeds into a long-term BirdLife Australia monitoring program that will protect pelicans and the Lakes for future generations.

About the Great Borun (Pelican) Count

This annual event helps BirdLife Australia to quantify the changes in pelican numbers across the Gippsland Lakes, and encourages people of all ages to help one of Australia’s most recognisable birds.

We encourage everyone to sign up for a monitoring site. Make an afternoon of it by packing a picnic lunch and inviting your family and friends to enjoy the beautiful lakes – and the pelicans!

How do I get involved?

Registrations for the 2024 Great Borun (Pelican) Count have now closed. Check back here later in the year for updates on future counts.