Massive exploitation of the Laysan albatross for its feathers in the first half of the 20th century had a devastating effect on population numbers, and whilst it is known that population numbers improved following a ban between 1980 and 1995, they have yet to resume their original numbers. Major threats persist, and until these have been reduced, the Laysan albatross cannot be considered to be out of danger. Longline fisheries and illegal driftnet operations were estimated to have killed 17,500 birds (or one percent of the population) in 1990 alone. Since then, estimates suggest that sea bird avoidance measures have reduced losses. Oil spills, plastic ingestion, lead poisoning from a disused military base, human disturbance and collisions with aircraft are also threats (5).
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