CHAUVIN, La. (AP) — Raccoon Island, a barrier isle an hour’s boat ride off the coast of Louisiana, is one of the few remaining breeding refuges for the iconic brown pelicans.

A dozen years ago, there were 15 low-lying islands with nesting colonies of Louisiana’s state bird.

But today, just six islands in the state harbor brown pelican nests — the rest have disappeared underwater from subsidence and rising seas from climate change.

The vanishing islands threaten one of the last century’s most celebrated conservation success stories — the decades-long effort to bring the pelicans back from the edge of extinction driven by the pesticide