Albatrosses feel the heat
Albatrosses with GPS data loggers strapped to their backs or legs are helping to map the surface temperatures of the North Pacific.
The devices are attached to Laysan Phoebastria immutabilis and Black-footed Albatrosses Phoebastria nigripes at breeding colonies on Tern Island, in the north-west of the Hawaiian island group, and Guadalupe Island, Baja, Mexico.
As well as recording surface temperature when the birds touch down, the devices enable their movements to be tracked to the nearest ten metres.
Black-footed Albatross, listed as Vulnerable in 2000, was uplisted to Endangered in 2003.
In the same year, Laysan Albatross, formerly of Least Concern, was classified as Vulnerable after information from the northwestern Hawaiian Islands showed declines of at least 30 percent over three generations.
BirdLife news review of 2005: here.