Short-tailed albatross chicks moved because of volcano danger


Phoebastria albatrus, short-tailed albatross

From BirdLife:

Short-tailed Albatross chicks moved out of the shadow of the volcano

12-03-2008

Ten Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus chicks have been moved by helicopter, from their current stronghold on Torishima Island to the site of a former colony 350 km to the South-east.

The potential for future volcanic events on Torishima is among the most serious threats to this Vulnerable species. Currently, 80-85% of the world population breeds on a highly erodible slope on the outwash plain from the caldera of an active volcano. Monsoons send torrents of ash-laden water down this slope across the colony site. A volcanic eruption could also send lava, ash or poisonous gases through the colony.

The translocation site, Mukojima, part of Japan’s Bonin Islands (and administratively part of the Metropolis of Tokyo), is non-volcanic. Short-tailed Albatross bred here at least until the 1920s.

“Establishing viable breeding colonies in other safer locations is paramount to ensuring the survival and recovery of the Short-tailed Albatross”, said Judy Jacobs of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which has worked on the translocation of the albatross chicks with staff from the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology, and other Japanese and US organisations which together form the Short-tailed Albatross Recovery Team (START).

The ten chicks had reached the “post-guard” state, when parents leave them alone for increasing periods, but were still some three months away from fledging. “The key assumption to this approach is that geographic imprinting on the nesting island occurs after this time; chicks that fledge from a translocation site will return to breed at their fledging site, not their hatching site”, Kiyoaki Ozaki explained.

START personnel, who hand-reared Laysan and Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes chicks in preparation for this project, will spend the next three months feeding the chicks, before they take wing and head out to sea. It will be five years before they reach sexual maturity and are ready to return to breed.

Satellite tracking albatrosses to discover where they range across fishing grounds: here.

The Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) have added the three North Pacific species of albatross, Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus, Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis and Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes to Annex 1 of the Agreement: here.

Japan breeding program aims to save rare albatross: here.

The endangered short-tailed albatross is breeding in the Ogasawara Islands south of Tokyo for the first time since the end of the war. The finding on Nakodo Island, announced Thursday by the Environment Ministry, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology, is considered significant for a species that once faced the threat of extinction: here.

7 thoughts on “Short-tailed albatross chicks moved because of volcano danger

  1. Pingback: Japanese murrelet discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Short-tailed albatross chick on Midway again | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: New albatross species discovered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Birds bathing, drinking in Spain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Japanese seabird conservation | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Antarctic Deception Island, penguins and volcano | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.