TWO ill pelicans cared for by Rye wildlife rehabilitator Brenda Marmion were recently released and then recaptured with help from the Westernport Pelican Study Group.
The birds, which were found in a garden and on the beach at Tootgarook, were initially taken to Newhaven, Phillip Island where it was thought they would have a better chance of joining a flock.
However, they were recaptured when it was realised they were not thriving and have now been sent to Phillip Island Nature Park for further rehabilitation.
Once released, the birds will be monitored to see how they move around.
Gary Matthews from the Westernport Pelican Study Group said pelicans were better off being released with a flock.
The self-funded WPSG is a group of concerned volunteers researching pelican populations. In 2019 the group received government permission to start banding pelicans in a radius from Phillip Island to Stony Point and Mud Island in Port Phillip.
Matthews said the number of pelicans, which often fly long distances to feed, was declining, especially in Western Port, according to the few formal Victorian studies of pelicans.
Of 10 historical breeding sites recorded in Victoria, only a few remained, including Mud Island, Paynesville and Mallacoota.