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Sardine crash may be hurting brown pelicans

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Scientists and conservation groups are worried the crash in West Coast sardines that has triggered deep cutbacks in commercial fishing is also starving brown pelicans that feed off California, Oregon and Washington.

Federal budget cuts have left scientists unable to do the research to figure out exactly what is going on. But the bits and pieces emerging don’t look good.

“Prey availability for the pelican is definitely something we are concerned about, and we are making…

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