Bermuda petrel chick born on Nonsuch Island

This video is called Bermuda’s Treasure Island / Bermuda Petrel feeding chick.

From BirdLife:

Successful translocation sees first petrel chick


The first Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow chick to be born on Nonsuch Island, Bermuda, for almost 400 years, has recently hatched, the result of a successful translocation programme.

“The birth of this chick is an extraordinary achievement for those who have dedicated their lives to saving this rare bird from the brink of extinction”, said Glenn Blakeney, the Bermuda Minister of the Environment and Sports.

Bermuda Petrel (also known as the Cahow) once numbered in the tens of thousands before the island’s discovery by the Spanish in the early 1500s. The Cahow changed Bermuda’s history, as the ghostly sounds made at night by the island’s huge Cahow population so frightened the superstitious Spanish sailors that they thought Bermuda was inhabited by devils and never settled there. However, although they didn’t settle, they left pigs on the island as food for shipwrecked sailors.

Over the next hundred years, the pigs destroyed almost 90% of the Cahow population, rooting up the bird’s nest burrows and eating eggs, chicks and adult birds. By the time the English settled Bermuda in 1609, the Cahows only survived on remote islands.

Due to predation by rats, cats and dogs brought to Bermuda by the early settlers, and hunting by the settlers themselves, the remaining Cahows disappeared very quickly, and were thought to be extinct by the 1620s. No Cahows was seen between 1620 and 1951, when a few breeding pairs were discovered nesting on some of the smallest and most remote rocky islands.

Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale Of The Bermuda Petrel And The Man Who Brought It Back From Extinction: here.

Rare species on islands are at risk of being lost forever because they have been generally overlooked by current conservation models, a study suggests: here.

10 thoughts on “Bermuda petrel chick born on Nonsuch Island

  1. Published: May 9. 2009 09:06AM
    Bermuda reefs could be ‘canary in the coal mine’ warning for acid seas

    By Tauria Raynor

    Glowing: Satellite photograph showing Bermuda surrounded by its reef system. The corals may be amongst the first in the world to begin to show damage for acidification of the oceans.
    Photo by Chris Burville Under threat: A section of reef near the wreck of the Minnie Breslauer on the south shore. Bermuda’s corals may act as an early warning of damage being caused by acid seas.

    Bermuda’s coral reefs could act as an early warning system for other reef systems as they could be the first to see damage caused by increasing acidification of the oceans, Rotarians heard this week.

    Hamilton Rotary heard from Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) oceanographer, Dr. Andreas Andersson who said that because of the high latitude location of the Island and the cold temperatures during the winter, Bermuda’s coral reefs are more susceptible to corrosion than the Caribbean’s.

    “As the oceans continue to absorb carbon dioxide from human activities and become increasingly acidic, the coral reef of Bermuda will experience critical conditions before its counterparts in the Caribbean.

    “Hence, the coral reefs of Bermuda may act as the ‘canary in a coal mine’ in terms of the effect of ocean acidification on corals and coral reef ecosystems,” he said.

    Investigators at BIOS are currently researching the effects of ocean acidification locally and globally and are trying to develop an ocean acidification research centre.

    According to Dr. Andersson, carbon dioxide levels would not slow down, but rather continue to build which could kill off the reefs, affecting human and marine life.

    Dr. Andersson said humans were using more fossil fuel to run the economy via energy sources such as cars and planes. He said the atmosphere took up 55 percent of the carbon dioxide from the fuel and the ocean took up 30 percent.

    “Future predictions suggest that atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide will continue to increase in all realistic socio-economic scenarios, and consequently ocean uptake of this gas and acidification of ocean surface waters will increase.

    “As a result, we may expect marine organisms, both calcifying and non-calcifying, to be affected by these changing environmental conditions,” he said.

    Dr. Andersson added: “We envision the research centre, which we currently refer to as BEACON (Bermuda ocean acidification and coral reef investigation) having four different components.”

    He said they would be:

    • field component continuously monitoring chemical conditions on the reef with concurrent observations of coral reef health

    • an experimental component using tanks and aquaria to manipulate and control environmental conditions and investigate the effect of future seawater conditions on various marine organisms

    • a numerical modelling component used to forecast future scenarios and consequences to the Bermuda coral reef

    • an educational and outreach component involving local schools, students and general public.

    He added: “The threat of ocean acidification is imminent but at this time we are only beginning to understand the potential consequences.

    “In order to accurately direct future conservation and emission policies, the need for a better understanding of this problem is urgent. The only way we can stop or slow down ocean acidification is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.”


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