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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

After reaching sexual maturity at eight to nine years, the Laysan albatross switches from permanently living at sea and returns to land for nearly 10 months of the year to raise a single chick. First-time breeders engage in an elaborate courtship display which establishes pair bonds lasting for the rest of their 40 year lives. The male and female build a shallow nest in a colony based on open ground surrounded by tall vegetation. The female lays a single egg which both sexes take turns incubating for nine weeks. The chick is fed by both parents, who alternately tend to the chick and embark on trips of several days to forage at sea. Upon their return, the stomach oil and partially digested stomach contents are regurgitated to feed the chick (4). At the end of the breeding season in July, most birds head northwest towards Japan, and then northeast towards the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. They then migrate south to Hawaii for the next breeding season (4). Whilst normally quiet and solitary at sea, large flocks may gather to exploit fish discards from factory trawlers. The Laysan albatross seizes food at the surface and by shallow diving to catch squid, fish and crustaceans (2).
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Description

Named after one of the islands on which it breeds, the Laysan albatross is a large bird with extremely long wings. Males are slightly larger, but both sexes have a white head, body and undertail feathers, with dark upperwings and back, and black and white patterning on the underwings. The bill and feet are pinkish (3). A dark patch surrounds the eye (2).
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Mating dances

Male and female individuals perform complex displays before mating. The male begins when it sees a female approach, trying to attract the female by dancing on the spot. If the female is interested it will approach the male with its head slightly lowered. The female then taps the side of the male’s bill and may nibble on the breast feathers. The two birds then enter a dance routine consisting of a series of discrete movements. These movements can be combinations of sounds and body motions or even staring at each other or throwing bits of dirt. A bird will go though there whole dance routine even if their partner stops. Sometimes, the birds will gradually synchronize their dance routines. (Meseth 242) If they conclude the dance and mate or begin preening each other the pair bond is thought to have formed. Juveniles and very occasionally chicks will do limited dance routines (Meseth 246)

  • Meseth, Earl H. The Dance of the Laysan Albatross, Diomedia Immutabilis Behavior LIV 3-4 (1975)
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Midway Atoll

The famous Midway atoll has a large colony of nesting Laysan albatross and also a large number of abandoned structures. Lead paint is chipping off the abandoned World War Two era buildings. Fledglings often ingest the chips, which leads to lead poisoning and a condition called “droop-wing syndrome”. Because of nerve damage from lead poisoning, the fledgling cannot hold its wings against its body. Instead, they droop and scrape against the ground. The fledgling cannot fly and will eventually starve. Fledgling mortality is abnormally high on the islands and droop-wing seems to be more prevalent near abandoned buildings with peeling paint. (Sileo 433)

  • Sileo, L. Paint Chip Poisoning of Laysan Albatross At Midway Atoll Journal of Wildlife Diseases 23-3 (1987)
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Human disturbance

A nesting colony exists on Clarion Island which hosts a military base. The nesting birds are routinely predated by invasive mammals which are being continually introduced. Military personnel and general activity on the base also disturbs the birds. As of 1988, the date of the last count, this population was down to 30 nesting pairs. The largest population in the east pacific is on Guadalupe Island which also hosts a military base. This colony may also be threatened. (Pitman 160)

  • Pitman, Robert L. “Population Status, Foods and Foraging of Laysan Albatrosses Phoebastria Immutabilis Nesting on Gaudalupe Island, Mexico” Marine Ornithology 32: 159–165 (2004)
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Eggs

A single egg is laid per season. The egg is ovate or elliptical. It is colored white and sometimes has reddish blood spots from ruptured capillaries in the parent. It is typically 108 mm in length and 67.1 mm in diameter, about the median for albatross species. It typically weighs 278 grams. The male may or may not be present during egg laying. If it is, it tends to make a soft "moo" sound when the egg is deposited. (Fisher 109)

  • Fisher, Harvey L. Eggs and Egg-Laying in the Laysan Albatross, Diomedea immutabilis The Condor, Vol. 71, No. 2 (1969)
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Reproduction

The species is monogamous and breeding pairs tend to stay together for years. Females start developing the eggs before they reach shore and find their partner. First time breeders lay eggs with much less frequency and later in the season than returning breeders. However, young females paired with older males tend to match the laying cycles of older females. (Fisher 106) The environment affects breeding patterns heavily. When severely disturbed, up to 72% of the population may fail to breed or choose not to. (Stahl 328)

The mother often lays the egg directly on the ground before even beginning a nest. (Fisher 108) The nest once built consists of a dirt mound with a deep depression in the center. Once a mother has established a nest location it returns to it year after year, and usually only moves locations of it finds a new mate.

During brooding, the albatross makes short foraging trips to sites close to the shore. In Hawaii these sites tend to be warmer and deeper than its usual foraging grounds and are much less productive. Once the chick has hatched and can be left unattended the parent travels much farther distances to more productive sites. (Awkerman 290)

  • Awkerman, Jill A. “Foraging activity and submesoscale habitat use of waved albatrosses Phoebastria irrorata during chick-brooding period” Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol. 291: 289–300, (2005)
  • Fisher, Harvey L. Eggs and Egg-Laying in the Laysan Albatross, Diomedea immutabilis The Condor, Vol. 71, No. 2 (1969)
  • Stahl, J.C. “Behaviour and Patterns of Attendance of Non-breeding Birds at the Breeding Colony in a Buller’s Albatross Thalassarche Bulleri Population at The Snares” Notornis Vol. 53 (2006)
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Nesting sites

99.9% of Laysan albatrosses nest in the Hawaiian Archipelago. The rest live on other Pacific islands and in Mexico. Laysan populations seem to be spreading, with entirely new nesting colonies forming in some places. New colonies have sprung up on islets off Guadalupe Island, Mexico. This is probably due to the fact that invasive mammals that predate the colonies have not reached these islets. (Pitman 160)

  • Pitman, Robert L. “Population Status, Foods and Foraging of Laysan Albatrosses Phoebastria Immutabilis Nesting on Gaudalupe Island, Mexico” Marine Ornithology 32: 159–165 (2004)
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Diet

The diet of the Laysan Albatross is believed to consist primarily of squid. A study of Albatross pellets from Guadalupe Island found that 99.7% of their diet consists of cephalopods, the rest fish. This is hard to know for certain, since other prey such as fish may not show up in the pellets collected by researchers. Squid have a hard beak that resists the digestive process. (Pitman 162) Instead of catching live squid, the Laysan albatross may scavenge dead squid floating on the ocean surface. This is supported by the fact that they eat primarily squid species that live in deep water but the females die after mating. The albatrosses have also been found to mostly forage during the day when squid do not surface and land in order to sleep at night. This further supports the theory that they scavenge their food. (Pitman 164) Unlike many albatross species they do not tend to follow ships in order to scavenge food. (Meseth 218)

  • Meseth, Earl H. The Dance of the Laysan Albatross, Diomedia Immutabilis Behavior LIV 3-4 (1975)
  • Pitman, Robert L. “Population Status, Foods and Foraging of Laysan Albatrosses Phoebastria Immutabilis Nesting on Gaudalupe Island, Mexico” Marine Ornithology 32: 159–165 (2004)
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Distribution

Laysan albatrosses breed on the Hawaiian islands, some of Japan’s Bonin Islands, Guadalupe Island, and other islands off the coast of western Mexico. These albatrosses mainly breed in the Hawaiian archipelago; more than half of the population breeds on Midway Island. Their name comes from the breeding colony on Laysan, in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. When Laysan albatrosses are not breeding, they occur throughout the Pacific Ocean. Birds spend nearly half the year (July through November) at sea and don’t land until breeding season. Non-breeding albatrosses are found mostly near the Aleutians and the Bering Sea. Laysan albatrosses take off from breeding grounds in July and head northwest towards Japan, northeast in August, and then south again to breeding islands in November. Their range is limited by central Pacific winds because albatrosses depend on wind currents for sustained flight.

Biogeographic Regions: oceanic islands (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )

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Range Description

Phoebastria immutabilis breeds at 16 sites (nine with populations of greater than 100 pairs), mostly in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (USA) and US Minor Outlying Islands, with additional small colonies in Japan and Mexico. The population is estimated to be c.590,926 breeding pairs, with the largest colony at Midway Atoll, followed by Laysan Island, both in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (Naughton et al. 2007). Population sizes at monitored colonies increased between 1980 and 1995 but have never reached the densities observed prior to large-scale harvests for feathers in the early 1900s. Data indicated a 32% decline during 1992-2002 (3.2% per annum) of birds breeding on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, where 99% of the global population is found (Gilman and Freifeld 2003, US Fish and Wildlife Service data per B. Flint 2003), though data from 2004 and 2006 indicate that the breeding population then rebounded, and that the overall population trend for 1992-2005 is stable (Naughton et al. 2007). On Oahu, Hawaii the small population has increased 27% annually since 1991, and numbered 365 adults in 2008, due primarily to immigration with some local recruitment (Young et al. 2009). A population began nesting in Mexico in the 1980s and has been increasing since then. The current population is about 400 pairs at four sites (46 pairs on Clarion Island in 2002, Wanless et al. 2009), though this represents less than 0.1% of the global population (Naughton et al. 2007). Breeding populations were extirpated from Wake and Johnston atolls (USA) and Minami Torishima (Japan) in the central Pacific. Ship-based observations, satellite tracking and fisheries bycatch reveal the wide distribution of Laysan Albatross in the North Pacific, ranging from the Bering Sea to tropical waters in the South (15-20 degrees North) (Fernandez et al. 2001, Hyrenbach et al. 2002, Shaffer et al. 2004).

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Transient

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Breeding

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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Breeds on most of northwestern Hawaiian Islands, from Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to Kauai in the main islands (Whittow 1993); attempts have been made to nest on Oahu, Molokai, Niihau, and Moku Manu in the main islands, but with little success owing in part to active human discouragement because of danger to aircraft; also nests on Ogasawara Islands, and at least formerly on Seven Islands of Izu, and on Marcus, Johnston, and Wake islands; recently (late 1980s and early 1990s) found nesting on Isla Guadalupe and on islas San Benedicto and Clarion of the Islas Revillagigedo, and at Alijos Rock (Whittow 1993), off western Mexico (Howell and Webb 1992, Pitman and Ballance 2002). Ranges at sea in Bering Sea, North Pacific from Alaska to coasts of Baja California, and Japan; recorded at sea between latitudes 8 degrees north and 59 degrees north, and longitudes 170 degrees east and 105 degrees west (Whittow 1993).

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Range

Most Laysan albatrosses breed on the northwestern Hawaiian Archipelago and off Baja California, and spend the non-breeding season out at sea in the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea (2). Other populations are found in Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean (1).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Laysan albatrosses have blackish-brown backs and upper wings. The primary feathers have a flash of white. The under wing is also white, with black margins. There is a dark tail band that is visible during flight. Similar species are black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes). They are distinguished because black-footed albatrosses are dark all over, including the under wings. The other similar North American albatross species, short-tailed albatrosses (Phoebastria albatrus), have a yellow wash on the head and neck.

Range mass: 1.9 to 3.1 kg.

Average mass: 2.4 kg.

Range length: 79 to 81 cm.

Range wingspan: 195 to 203 cm.

Average basal metabolic rate: 0.53 cm3.O2/g/hr.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

Average basal metabolic rate: 7.462 W.

  • National Geographic Society, 2002. National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America, 4th Edition. Des Moines, IA: National Geographic.
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Size

Length: 81 cm

Weight: 3230 grams

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Ecology

Habitat

breeding on Hawaii
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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When they land in the breeding season, Laysan albatrosses prefer to be in sandy, grassy areas on low atolls. They prefer to be next to sand dunes and shrubs such as Scaevola. The rest of the time, Laysan albatrosses are found at soaring above the sea and only land on the water to feed or sleep. Their distribution may be related to food abundance, such as squid. On land, they are not frequently found above 500 m, usually at sea level.

Range elevation: 0 to 500 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; saltwater or marine

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune

Aquatic Biomes: pelagic

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Laysan Albatross is an annual breeder though, like other albatross species, each year a proportion of birds will skip a breeding season. Nests vary from a simple scoop in the sand to more elaborate nests where vegetation allows. A Laysan Albatross has been recorded breeding aged 55 years (USFWS unpublished data). High rates of mate change (14%), super-normal clutches, and same-sex pairing (31% of pairs), observed on Oahu, Hawaii are all previously unreported for the species (Young et al. 2008, 2009). The high rates of same-sex pairing is thought to result from a slightly skewed sex ratio (57% female) (Young et al. 2008). Diet analysis indicates that it feeds primarily on cephalopods (Pittman et al. 2006), though also on a variety of fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates (Tickell 2000). Satellite tracking has revealed the large journeys made even while breeding (Fernandez et al. 2001, Naughton et al. 2007, S. Shaffer in litt 2007). Breeding birds at Tern Island switch from a local unimodal foraging strategy during brooding, to a bimodal foraging strategy incorporating more distant, highly productive subarctic waters during the rearing period (Hyrenbach et al. 2002). Reproductive success has been linked to foraging location, with pairs fledging chicks two years in a row not foraging near continental shelves (Edwards and Parrish 2008). It is thought that this ability may be influenced by information gathered during the non-breeding season (Edwards and Parrish 2008).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Comments: Nonbreeding: pelagic. Does not often follow ships. Nests on ground in sheltered areas and open grassy areas (e.g., lawns) on oceanic islands (especially Laysan and Midway). Usually returns to nest site used in previous year (Fisher 1975).

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Depth range based on 6204 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 6066 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): -0.445 - 26.778
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.004 - 21.548
  Salinity (PPS): 27.601 - 35.350
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.668 - 8.737
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.061 - 1.906
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.058 - 40.317

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): -0.445 - 26.778

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.004 - 21.548

Salinity (PPS): 27.601 - 35.350

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.668 - 8.737

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.061 - 1.906

Silicate (umol/l): 1.058 - 40.317
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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This is an open ocean species that comes to land exclusively to breed, at which time it inhabits open sandy or grassy areas (4).
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Arrives in nesting areas late October-early November, males preceding females. Immatures may not migrate back to their hatching area for several years (typically about 4 years on Midway) (Fisher 1975).

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Trophic Strategy

Laysan albatrosses eat mainly squid but also eat fish, fish-eggs, and crustaceans. They eat small sunfish (Ranzania laevis), flying fish and their eggs (Exocoetidae), wind-sailers (Velella velella), and crustaceans such as Eurythenes gryllus. These seabirds feed mainly at night when squid are plentiful in surface waters. They are surface feeders; they feed by sitting on the water and scooping up prey from just under the surface. They can rip apart larger prey with their beaks.

Animal Foods: fish; eggs; mollusks; aquatic crustaceans

Primary Diet: carnivore (Molluscivore )

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Comments: Eats squid mostly at night when squid are at ocean surface (Palmer 1962).

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Associations

Laysan albatrosses, aside from preying on squid and fish and being preyed upon by tiger sharks and rats, are also hosts for occasional parasitic species. Ectoparasites can cause parasite dermatitis. A new species of chigger was found on a Laysan albatross nestling.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • chiggers (Apoloniinae)

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Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) prey on fledglings as they swim near breeding islands, eating about 1 in 10 fledglings. Tiger sharks can also attack adults. Polynesian rats (Rattus exulans) have also been reported to attack incubating adults and nestlings. Adults will protect their nests using their bills. In the main Hawaiian islands, introduced predators such as dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) have killed Laysan albatrosses and, on Oahu, mongooses (Herpestidae) may be a threat.

Known Predators:

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80

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Global Abundance

>1,000,000 individuals

Comments: In 1996, 387,854 breeding pairs (71% of the world's population) nested on Midway Atoll (USFWS 2000).

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General Ecology

Long-lived; low mortality arte (annual mortality rate of breeders on Midway 5-6%); breeding life expectancy 16-18 years. (Fisher 1975).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Laysan albatrosses have an elaborate courtship display that uses visual, tactile, and audio stimuli. During the courtship display, these albatrosses respond in unison to their potential mate, including a mutual bill-clicking display. When incubating eggs they make soft “eh-eh” sounds to the egg and to their partner. When males return to the breeding colony at the start of the season they make sky calls, in which males rise on their toes, point their bills at the sky and emit a long, single note.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

Laysan albatrosses have a lifespan of 12to 51 years. Birds that start breeding early in life tend to die younger. Mortality rates are highest during the 3rd to 6th breeding years. The major cause of mortality in nestlings is dehydration. Many adult birds have been killed due to military and aircraft activities.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
12 to 51 years.

Typical lifespan

Status: wild:
10 to 19 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 53 years (wild) Observations: One specimen banded in 1956 was recaptured on Midway Atoll in 2002. In 1956 the animal was incubating an egg making it at least 51 years old in 2002. It was brooding a healthy chick in 2002 (http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/).
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Reproduction

Laysan albatrosses are monogamous and known for their elaborate courtship displays. This courtship display is complicated and consists of 25 different postures, from clicking beaks together to tucking them under wings, to pointing them at the sky simultaneously. Only first time breeders and non-breeding birds perform this dance. Laysan albatrosses mate for life. Males and females start breeding around 8 to 9 years of age. Pair bonds are formed over several years – albatrosses may form the pair bond in their third year but not start breeding until they are 8 or 9. Laysan albatrosses do not change mates unless one dies, but changing mates decreases breeding frequency.

Mating System: monogamous

Laysan albatrosses breed once a year and lay one egg each time they breed. If the egg is lost, it is not replaced. The incubation period lasts for about 65 days, both parents take turns incubating the egg. The nestling fledges around 165 days after hatching and leaves the nest at about the same time because the parents stop feeding it. The nestling probably leaves out of hunger and must learn how to swim, fly, and feed out of necessity.  Males and females copulate about 24 hours after arriving at the breeding colony. Within a couple of hours after copulation, both birds depart for sea and return after about 8 days. Upon her return, the female builds the nest for a day or so and then lays her egg. Nest construction continues during incubation, mostly by the female but the male contributes as well. Laysan albatrosses are colonial nesters. Nests are a depression in the sand or soil with a rim made of twigs, leaves, or sand.

Breeding interval: Laysan albatrosses breed once a year.

Breeding season: Laysan albatrosses breed from November to July.

Average eggs per season: 1.

Range time to hatching: 63.8 to 65.6 days.

Average time to hatching: 64.4 days.

Average fledging age: 165 days.

Average time to independence: 165 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 8.9 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 8.4 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

Both sexes play an equal role in incubating the egg, maintaining the nest, and raising the young. The female on average incubates a few days less than the male does (29 vs. 36 days). Birds exchange incubation shifts, usually about 5 times, during the total period of incubation. Exchange occurs during the day, preceded by mutual preening. The relieved bird usually departs to find food within an hour. Both sexes develop an incubation patch that re-feathers after the egg is hatched. If the egg is displaced from the nest, the parent will not retrieve it. After the bird hatches, both parents play equal roles in feeding the chick regurgitated food, which usually consists of squid oil and flying fish eggs. The parent will only feed the chick at the nest site to ensure that it is feeding its own chick. The chick is brooded by the parent for the first few days and later guarded. Both parents take an equal role in guarding the chick.

Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female)

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Egg are laid November-December. Clutch size is 1. Incubation lasts 62-68 days, by both sexes in turn (turn may last weeks). Nestling stage lasts about 165 days. Young are tended by both sexes, may be left alone for 1-4 days after 6 weeks. First breeds at 5-9 years.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Phoebastria immutabilis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 6 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNTCACTGCTCATGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTTATAGTCATACCGATCATAATTGGAGGATTCGGAAACTGACTAGTACCACTTATAATCGGTGCCCCCGACATAGCATTCCCACGTATAAACAATATAAGCTTCTGACTACTACCTCCGTCCTTCCTCCTCCTGCTAGCATCTTCCACAGTAGAAGCAGGGGCAGGGACAGGATGGACTGTATATCCACCCTTAGCAGGCAACCTTGCCCACGCAGGAGCTTCAGTAGACCTAGCCATCTTCTCCCTCCACCTGGCAGGTGTCTCATCTATCCTGGGGGCAATTAACTTCATCACAACTGCCATCAACATAAAACCTCCAGCCCTTTCACAATACCAAACCCCCCTATTCGTATGATCTGTACTCATCACTGCCGTCCTACTCCTACTCTCACTCCCAGTCCTTGCTGCCGGCATTACCATACTACTAACAGATCGAAACCTAAACACTACATTCTTCGATCCAGCCGGAGGAGGGGACCCAGTCCTATATCAACACCTCTTCTGATTCTTTGGCCANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phoebastria immutabilis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Laysan albatrosses are listed as vulnerable to extinction in the IUCN Red List and protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act. Laysan albatrosses were hunted by the Japanese for their feathers. Laysan albatrosses were also killed by collisions with antennae towers and aircraft strikes and many were intentionally killed as well to reduce collisions. On the Hawaiian islands, eggs and birds are still removed from airfields to discourage nesting. On land, introduced predators and lead poisoning kill albatrosses as well. At sea, they are killed by oil pollution, floating plastics, nets, and fishhooks. Preventive measures adopted have been alternative long-line fishing techniques such as weighing lines down to scare away birds. Topsoil and grass has been imported to islands to stabilize sand dunes and increase available habitat. Protection in wildlife refuges on other Hawaiian islands help establish breeding colonies.

US Migratory Bird Act: protected

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: appendix i

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: near threatened

  • McDermond, D., K. Morgan. 1993. Status and conservation of North Pacific Albatross. The status, ecology, and conservation of marine birds of the N. Pacific, 1: 70-81.
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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S.

Contributor/s
Flint, B., Gilman, E., Lewison, R., Mitchell, L., Nisbet, I., Rivera, K., Shaffer, S. & Young, L.

Justification
This species has rebounded from declines in the late 1990s and early 2000s, perhaps because apparent changes in the breeding populations reflected large scale environmental conditions that affected the number of birds that returned to the colonies to nest rather than actual declines in the population. Given the difficulty of predicting long-term trends for such a long-lived species, and the number of documented threats and the uncertainty over their future effects, the species is precautionarily projected to undergo a moderately rapid population decline over three generations (84 years), and as such qualifies as Near Threatened (nearly qualifies for listing as threatened under criterion A4bd).


History
  • 2012
    Near Threatened
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N2B - Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable

Reasons: Modest number of nesting colonies on Pacific Ocean islands; over 70 per cent of total population nests on Midway Island; threats include mortality in commercial fisheries, predation by exotic mammals, and, on Midway Island, lead poisoning.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

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Status

The Laysan albatross is classified as Vulnerable (VU A4bd) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1).
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Population

Population
The population is estimated to number c.591,000 breeding pairs, equivalent to c.1.18 million mature individuals (likely to equate to at least 1.7 million total individuals) (Naughton et al. 2007). This estimate is based on standardized surveys at Midway Atoll, Laysan Island and French Frigate Shoals in 2006 (551,940 pairs; 25,780 95% C.I.; Flint 2007). These three colonies support 90% of the global breeding population. Estimates for the other colonies are the most recent available (1982-2006). There are c.23 pairs breeding on the Bonin Islands in Japan, and c.400 pairs on islands offshore from Mexico (primarily Isla Guadalupe, 337 pairs estimated in 2005) (Naughton et al. 2007). Data from Hawaiian colonies suggests that a proportion of the breeding population do not breed each year, and as such the population may be greater than estimated here (L. Young in litt. 2009).

Population Trend
Stable
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Local increases have been noted, but overall the population in northwestern Hawaii apparently is stable (Harrison et al. 1984). Apparently expanding range, based on new breeding records for islands on Pacific coast of Mexico; populations there are still extremely small, however (Pitman and Ballance 2002).

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Threats

Major Threats
Historically, populations were greatly reduced by feather and egg collecting in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and by high seas drift nets for squid and salmon that were active between 1978 and 1992. Prior to its closure, the high seas driftnet fishery killed over 17,500 P. immutabilis in 1990 alone (Johnson et al. 1993). Current key threats are being caught as bycatch in pelagic (Crowder and Myers 2002) and demersal longline fisheries (Stehn et al. 2001) in the North Pacific as well as in illegal high seas driftnet operations. Analyses in 2001 estimated that pelagic longliners in the North Pacific may kill 5,000-18,000 Laysan Albatross per year, with 8,000 thought the most likely figure, while demersal longline operations in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries were estimated to kill c.715 birds per year (Crowder and Myers 2002). However, more recent estimates indicate a drastic reduction in bycatch from previous years (83 birds estimated taken in 2005) that is very likely attributable to the use of effective seabird avoidance measures (K. Rivera in litt. 2007). The bycatch rates in Japanese and Taiwanese pelagic longline fisheries in the North Pacific are still largely unknown. Other threats include organochlorine contamination, invasive species, plastic ingestion, lead poisoning, human disturbance and conflicts with aircraft (Harrison 1990, Ludwig et al. 1998, Finkelstein et al. 2003, Finkelstein 2006). Chicks with large volumes of proventricular plastic have been reported to have fledging weights significantly lower than chicks with low amounts of plastic, and there is some evidence to suggest it may have affected survival in 1986, when the volume of plastic ingestion was at its highest (Sievert and Sileo 2008). Oil pollution is no longer considered a likely threat (I. C. T. Nisbet in litt. 2010). Up to 10,000 chicks per year are potentially affected by lead poisoning from paint on buildings at Midway Atoll (Finkelstein 2006), and (7% of chicks on Sand Island fail to fledge from lead poisoning each year, with a predicted impact of 16% reduction in population size over the course of 50 years equating to 190,000 less birds, Finkelstein et al. 2010).. Avian pox virus affects chicks on Midway and the Main Hawaiian Islands where introduced mosquitoes are present, but studies on O'ahu colonies show that fledging success was not reduced (Young and VanderWerf 2008). Dogs kill adults and chicks on inhabited islands in Hawaii. Verbesina encelioides is an aggressive weed that degrades nesting habitat in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and introduced predators (notably the Polynesian Rat Rattus exulans [Jones et al. 2008]) are an issue for colonies in Mexico and on the Main Hawaiian Islands. In 2002, observations on Clarion Island, Mexico reported zero breeding success from the 46 nesting pairs, largely as a result of predation by several endemic species (eg. Clarion raven Corvus corax clarionensis and Clarion racer Masticophis anthonyi, Wanless et al. 2009). Observations from Guadalupe Island, Mexico, in December 2002 recorded 35 out of 490 adults killed by cats (7% of the total island breeding population that year, and 30% of the Punta Sur colony) (Keitt et al. 2006). Cats were also responsible for a tripling in nest failure rate at this colony (49%) compared with the nearby cat free Negro Islet colony (13%) (Keitt et al. 2006). Cat control around the colony from Jan-Mar 2003 removed 18 cats and curtailed adult mortality from cat predation, although cats continued to be seen around the colony after the breeding season ended (Keitt et al. 2006). It is likely that the population here had not experienced high levels of predation prior to 2002, as it would have been extirpated.


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Degree of Threat: Medium

Comments: Threatened by mortality from long-line fisheries. In each of the years 1996-1998 an estimated 2,000 were killed in the waters around Hawaii (Ornithological Council 1999). Loss of up to one percent of the population annually due to capture in driftnets has been reported (Whittow 1993).

"Unusually large numbers of adults died on Midway in 1995 from acute anemia of unknown origin. Lead poisoning from paint chips and necrotizing enteritis are major causes of mortality in chicks on Midway Atoll. In 1997, lead mitigation efforts on Midway were evaluated and management guidelines provided to the US Fish and Wildlife Service" (Work and Rameyer 1998).

Other threats include predation by polynesian rats, dogs, and mongoose on the main Hawaiian Islands, and collisions with objects (resulting from disorientation caused by artificial lighting). Avian pox is common.

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Laysan albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis), which forage throughout the North Pacific, are well known for their tendency to ingest plastic. Their flexible foraging strategy has potentially led to a decrease in their foraging efficiency as they ingest large amounts of plastic, which is in turn fed to their chicks. It is unclear just how often Laysan albatrosses encounter or ingest plastic and whether plastic is mistaken for prey, has natural food attached to it, or is consumed to assist in digestion as is sometimes done with pumice. Unfortunately, plastic ingestion leads to mechanical blockage of the digestive tract, reduced food consumption, inappropriate satiation of hunger, and potential exposure to toxic compounds. While there have been documented detrimental effects on the growth rates and fledging masses of chicks, it is still unclear what levels of mortality are caused by plastic ingestion. What is clear, however, is the source of the plastic: there is now so much floating marine debris accumulated in the North Pacific gyre that is it known as the "great garbage patch". This patch consists of high densities of floating plastic debris, particularly between 20° and 40° N, within a few hundred kilometres of the coast and in the gyre centres, between the tropical and subarctic waters. This area of concentrated debris consists of two accumulations: the "Western Garbage Patch" that occurs off Japan and the"‘Eastern Garbage Patch" located between Hawaii and California. These accumulations correspond to the locations of two sub-gyres within the North Pacific Gyre connected by a narrower band of marine debris north of the Hawaiian Archipelago (where 99% of Laysan Albatrosses breed). (Young et al. 2009 and references therein)

Young et al. (2009) investigated the questions of whether Laysan albatrosses nesting on widely separated islands (Kure Atoll and Oahu Island, separated by 2,150 km) exploit resources closer to their breeding colonies during the breeding season, how their foraging locations change throughout the reproductive cycle, and whether this leads to differences in plastic ingestion as represented in their boluses (regurgitated undigestable material). Determining how and where marine organisms come into contact with marine debris could have implications for the design of management strategies that mitigate its environmental impact. To track foraging behavior and plastic ingestion, Young et al. combined the use of electronic data logging devices to determine the at-sea distributions of adults with the collection of chick boluses to evaluate differences in plastic ingestion. The authors found that chicks from Kure Atoll were fed almost ten times the amount of plastic relative to chicks from Oahu despite boluses from both colonies having similar amounts of natural food. Foraging adults from Kure had a greater overlap with the putative range of the Western Garbage Patch, possibly explaining the higher plastic loads at this colony. Furthermore, every bolus examined from Kure Atoll contained multiple pieces of fishing paraphernalia, while only two boluses on Oahu contained any evidence of fishing line or tools (despite recreational fishing adjacent to the breeding colony on Oahu), suggesting that the threat from fisheries not only comes from bycatch for this species, but also from the consumption of fishing gear. It is unclear whether the Western Garbage Patch contains more trash than the Eastern Garbage Patch or if the size and composition of the pieces are easier for the birds to ingest compared to those found in the Eastern Garbage Patch.

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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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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
All of the major Hawaiian breeding localities are part of the US National Wildlife Refuge system or State of Hawaii Seabird Sanctuaries and, in 2006, the Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National Monument was established, encompassing all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Three breeding sites, supporting over 90% of the breeding population, are either counted directly or sampled at regular intervals. In 1991, a 50 Nautical Mile Protected Species Zone was established around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (primarily to protect monk seals). No longline fishing is allowed in this zone. Awareness programmes and mitigation trials have been started in several major longline fleets operating within the foraging range of this species. The Hawaiian longline fishing fleet is required to use measures to reduce bycatch of seabirds. In 2006, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission adopted a measure to require large longline vessels to use at least two seabird bycatch mitigation measures when fishing north of 23 degrees North. Predator control programs are conducted at colonies in Mexico and the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue monitoring population trends and demographic parameters. Continue satellite-tracking studies to assess temporal and spatial overlap with longline fisheries. Adopt best-practice mitigation measures in longline fisheries within the species's range. Continue and enhance awareness programmes in all longline fleets. Re-evaluate the location of the current boundary (23o N) for required use of seabird mitigation measures in the U.S. pelagic longline fisheries (Naughton et al. 2007). Continue and enhance control/eradication programs for Verbesina in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and introduced predators in Hawaii and Mexico. Continue and enhance lead-based paint removal from sites (e.g. USWFS 2005-2008 efforts to remove paint from c. 14 out of 95 structures with lead-based paint on Sand Island; Finkelstein et al. 2010).

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Management Requirements: See Podolsky (1990) for information on use of models and recordings of vocalizations to attract albatrosses to new potential nesting sites.

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Conservation

In 1991, a 50 nautical mile Protected Species Zone was set up around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands which banned longline fishing in order to protect monk seals. Half the breeding population of Laysan albatrosses breed within this region, and have consequently benefited from this protection, and have even been able to extend their breeding range. However, the implementation of proposed conversation measures is still crucial to the recovery of this species, including: assessing long term trends, satellite tracking to analyse temporal and spatial overlap with longline fisheries, as well as promoting awareness within longline fleets (5).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

In the past, Laysan albatrosses have collided with aircrafts and occasionally with antennae towers. Because of these collisions, they may still face persecution on the main Hawaiian Islands.

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Little is known about Laysan albatrosses and their economic importance for humans. Previously, Japanese feather hunters hunted albatrosses for their feathers. Currently, in the Hawaiian Islands, Laysan albatrosses are a tourist attraction and birders visit their breeding colonies.

Positive Impacts: body parts are source of valuable material; ecotourism

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Wikipedia

Laysan albatross

The Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) is a large seabird that ranges across the North Pacific. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are home to 99.7% of the population. This small (for its family) two-tone gull-like albatross is the second most common seabird in the Hawaiian Islands, with an estimated population of 2.5 million birds, and is currently expanding (or possibly re-expanding) its range to new islands. The Laysan albatross was first described as Diomedea immutabilis by Lionel Walter Rothschild, in 1893, on the basis of a specimen from Laysan Island.[3]

Etymology[edit]

It is named for Laysan, one of its breeding colonies in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Description[edit]

The Laysan albatross averages 81 cm (32 in) in length[4] and has a wingspan of 195–203 cm (77–80 in).[5] Males, which weigh 2.4–4.1 kg (5.3–9.0 lb), are larger than females, which weigh 1.9–3.6 kg (4.2–7.9 lb).[6][7] This albatross has blackish-gray upperwing, mantle, back, upper rump, and tail, and its head, lower rump, and underparts are white. It has a black smudge around the eye, and its underwing pattern varies between individuals, with some having narrower black margins and variable amounts of black in the underwing coverts. Finally, the bill is pink with a dark tip. Juveniles have a gray bill and a dark upper rump.[4] This species does not have a breeding plumage.[6]

The Laysan albatross is usually easy to identify. In the North Pacific, it is simple to separate from the other relatively common albatross, the all black black-footed albatross. It can be distinguished from the very rare short-tailed albatross by its all-dark back and smaller size. The Laysan albatross's plumage has been compared to that of a gull, two-toned with a dark gray mantle and wings and a white underside and head.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Laysan albatross has a wide range across the North Pacific, with 16 nesting sites. All but 0.3% of the breeding population is found among the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, particularly the islands of Midway and Laysan. Small populations are found on the Bonin Islands near Japan and the French Frigate Shoals, and the bird has begun to colonize islands off Mexico, such as Guadalupe Island[4] and others in the Revillagigedo Archipelago.[5] When away from the breeding areas, they range widely from Japan to the Bering Sea and south to 15°N.[4]

Behavior[edit]

Laysan albatross with chick on Midway
The at least 63-year-old female named Wisdom with her chick, in March 2011

The Laysan albatross is normally a silent bird, but on occasion they may be observed emitting long "moo"-ing sounds, descending whinnies, or rattles.[6] Female Laysan albatrosses may bond for life and cooperatively raise their young.[8]

A female Laysan albatross named Wisdom is the oldest known wild bird in the United States or the Northern Hemisphere. Wisdom was banded by a U.S. Geological Survey researcher in 1956, and in February 2014 she was seen rearing a new chick on Midway Atoll. Because Laysan albatrosses can't breed until they are five years old, as of 2014 Wisdom was estimated to be at least 63 years old.[9][10]

Reproduction[edit]

The Laysan albatross is colonial, nesting on scattered small islands and atolls, often in huge numbers, and builds different styles of nests depending on the surroundings, ranging from simple scoops in the sand[11] to nests using vegetation.[4] Laysan albatrosses have a protracted breeding cycle. They breed annually, although some birds skip years.[4] Juvenile birds return to the colony three years after fledging, but do not mate for the first time until seven or eight years old. During these four or five years they form pair bonds with a mate that they will keep for life. Courtship entails especially elaborate 'dances' that have up to 25 ritualized movements.

Occasionally the birds form homosexual pairs consisting of two females. This has been observed in the colony on the Hawaiian island Oahu, where the sex ratio of male to female is 2 to 3. Unpaired females pair up among themselves and successfully breed. Eggs are often fathered by paired males, who "cheat" on their spouses.[12]

The single egg is buff-white[11] and may have spots.[13] Both birds incubate the egg; the male does so first. Incubation takes about 65 days, and is followed by several weeks of brooding, after which both parents are out at sea to provide for the growing chick. The chick takes about 160 days to fledge. This time investment by the parents may explain the long courtship; both parents want to be sure the other is serious. The chicks are fed a stomach oil by the parents.

The Laysan albatross and the black-footed albatross have been known to hybridize.[5][6] Like all albatrosses, the Laysan albatross is known to be a long-living bird. The oldest known live bird, a female named Wisdom, is at least 63 years old. She recently hatched a healthy chick which is believed to be her 36th.[14][15] The longest lifespan confirmed for a wild seabird was for a breeding male Laysan that was found to have been banded 53 years previously. Other albatross are thought to match or maybe even exceed this record but few confirmations of very old albatross exist.[16]

Feeding[edit]

The Laysan albatross feeds predominantly on cephalopods,[17] but will also eat fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.[18]

Conservation[edit]

Breeding population and trends[4]
Breeding locationBreeding pairsTrend
Midway Atoll441,178Stable from 1992 to 2005
Laysan Island103,689Stable from 1992 to 2005
French Frigate ShoalsStable from 1992 to 2005
Other northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Torishima1,218Unknown
Bonin Islands23Unknown
Islas Guadalupe337Increasing
Other offshore Mexican islands63Increasing
Total590,926−30 to 49% over 85 years

The IUCN has classified the Laysan albatross as vulnerable due to drastic reductions in populations; however recent studies[when?] show that the population may be rebounding.[1] The IUCN now classifies the Laysan Albatross as Near-threatened. The Laysan albatross, while a common species, has not yet recovered from the wide-scale hunting of the early 1900s,[4] with feather hunters killing many hundreds of thousands and wiping them out from Wake Island and Johnston Atoll.[19] This slaughter led to efforts to protect the species (and others) which led eventually to the protection of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.[20] The species is still vulnerable to longline fisheries and the ingestion of floating plastics. Feral cats are known to prey on nesting birds and chicks on some of the more newly colonized islands. In some places big headed ants are a threat to young albatross chicks.

The Laysan albatross has an occurrence range of 38,800,000 km2 (15,000,000 sq mi) and a breeding range of 3,500 km2 (1,400 sq mi) with a population of 1,180,000 mature birds estimated in 2006.[4] Midway Atoll, Laysan Island, and the French Frigate Shoals have more than 90% of the breeding pairs at 551,940.[21] Bonin Island has 23 pairs and offshore Mexico has about 400 pairs with 337 pairs on Isla Guadalupe.[22] The northwestern Hawaiian Islands have suffered a 32% reduction in breeders from 1992 to 2002.[21][23] However, the last three years has seen a rebound that stabilized the period between 1992 and 2005.[22] This species was extirpated from Wake Atoll, Johnston Atoll, and Minami Torishima. The Mexican population has been increasing since its inception.[4]

In the past, harvesting for feathers was a major threat, along with high seas drift nets; however both of these have ceased, barring some small-scale illegal drift net operations. Current threats today are the longline fisheries.

Midway Atoll[edit]

Chick, Midway Atoll
Laysan albatross rookery on Midway Atoll

Lead poisoning is killing thousands of Laysan albatross each year on Midway Atoll, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The Laysan albatross has been globally listed as vulnerable to extinction by the World Conservation Union and is a special trust species on the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the recently established National Monument.

"Laysan chicks raised in nests close to 90 buildings left behind by the Navy are ingesting lead-based paint chips. This is causing shockingly high lead concentrations in their blood, leading to severe neurological disorders, and eventual death," said George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy. "Federal funds are urgently needed to clean up this toxic mess to protect the Laysan albatross as well as future visitors to the new Marine National Monument."[24] As many as 10,000 chicks, or five percent of hatched chicks, may be killed annually by exposure to lead-based paint. Many Laysan chicks that nest within five meters of building structures exhibit a condition referred to as "droopwing" which commonly manifests itself in the chicks’ inability to raise their wings and which thus drag on the ground, resulting in broken bones and open sores. Chicks with droopwing will never be able to fly and will die of starvation or dehydration. Other chicks in close proximity to buildings also suffer detrimental effects from lead exposure. These chicks have blood lead concentrations that cause immunological, neurological, and renal impairments, significantly decreasing their chances of survival.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) estimates that $22.9 million is needed to clean up the toxic lead paint on Midway Atoll. The 95 federally owned government buildings would need to be stripped of all lead-based paint and sand areas surrounding these old buildings thoroughly sifted to remove lead paint chips. When American Bird Conservancy staff presented the severity of this growing threat to an already imperiled bird species to DOI officials, they were told that the new Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument did not have any federal funds dedicated to its operation. Moreover, the DOI officials stated that the current federal budget for the nation’s wildlife refuge system would be insufficient to prevent the continued ingestion of lead paint by Laysan chicks.[citation needed]

Gallery[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2013). "Phoebastria immutabilis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Brands, S. (2008)
  3. ^ Robertson, C. J. R. (2003)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j BirdLife International (2008)
  5. ^ a b c Dunn, J. L. & Alderfer, J. (2006)
  6. ^ a b c d Floyd, Ted (2008)
  7. ^ Dunning Jr., John B., ed. (1992). CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5. 
  8. ^ "Gay animals going at it like rabbits". The Register. 17 June 2009. 
  9. ^ Memott, Mark (6 February 2013). "Oh, Mama! World's 'Oldest' Bird Has Another Chick". NPR - The Two-Way. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "America's oldest wild bird is a new mom". CNN. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. The bird was first identified and banded by a USGS researcher in 1956 when she was incubating an egg, according to the USGS. As the Laysan albatross can't breed before age 5 – and spends much of its life before that at sea – scientists estimate Wisdom is at least 60 years old. She may be even older, though, as most Laysan albatrosses don't breed until age 8 or 9 after an extended courtship... 
  11. ^ a b Udvardy, M.D.F. (1994)
  12. ^ Young, Lindsay C.; Zaun, Brenda J.; VanderWerf, Eric A. (2008). "Successful same-sex pairing in Laysan albatross". Biology Letters 4 (4): 323–325. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2008.0191. 
  13. ^ Peterson, Roger Troy (1961)
  14. ^ Dell'Amore, Christine (21 February 2013). "Oldest Known Wild Bird Hatches Chick at 62". National Geographic Daily News. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Heimbuch, Jaymi. "At 63 years old, Wisdom the Laysan albatross hatches another chick". Mother Nature Network. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  16. ^ Wood, Gerald (1983). The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. ISBN 978-0-85112-235-9. 
  17. ^ Pittman, et al. (2004)
  18. ^ Tickell (2000)
  19. ^ Harrison (1990), p. 57
  20. ^ Harrison (1990)(b), pp. 36–37
  21. ^ a b Flint (2007)
  22. ^ a b Naughton, et al. (2007)
  23. ^ Gilman & Freifeld (2003)
  24. ^ Environmental News Service (12 December 2006)[full citation needed]

References[edit]

  • BirdLife International (2008). "Laysan Albatross - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 22 Feb 2009. 
  • Brands, Sheila (14 August 2008). "Systema Naturae 2000 / Classification - Diomedea subg. Phoebastria -". Project: The Taxonomicon. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  • del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J., eds. (1992). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume One Ostrich to Ducks. ISBN 84-87334-10-5. 
  • Dunn, Jon L.; Alderfer, Jonathan (2006). "Albatrosses". In Levitt, Barbara. National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (fifth ed.). Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-7922-5314-3. 
  • Environmental News Service (12 December 2006). "Lead Paint Killing Birds in New Marine National Monument". Environmental News Service. Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  • Flint, E. (2007). "Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge - annual nest counts through hatch year 2007". 
  • Floyd, Ted (2008). "Tubenoses: Albatrosses, Shearwaters & Petrels, and Storm-petrels". In Hess, Paul; Scott, George. Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America (First ed.). New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-06-112040-4. 
  • Gilman, E.; Freifeld, H. (2003). "Seabird mortality in North Pacific longline fisheries". Endangered Species Update (20): 35–46. 
  • Harrison, Craig S. (1990). Seabirds of Hawaii. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9722-1. 
  • Naughton, M.B.; Romano, M.D.; Zimmerman, T.S. (2007). "A Conservation Action Plan for Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) and Laysan Albatross (P. immutabilis)" (1 ed.). 
  • Peterson, Roger T. (1961) [1941]. "Albatrosses: Diomedeidae". A Field Guide to Western Birds. Peterson Field Guides 2 (Second ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. p. 8. ISBN 0-395-13692-X. 
  • Pitman, R.L.; Walker, W.A.; Everett, W.T.; Gallo-Reynoso, J.P. (2004). "Population status, foods and foraging of Laysan Albatrosses Phoebastria immutabilis nesting on Guadalupe Island, Mexico". Marine Ornithology (32): 159–165. 
  • Robertson, C.J.R. (2003). "Albatrosses (Diomedeidae)". In Hutchins, Michael; Jackson, Jerome A.; Bock, Walter J. et al. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8 Birds I Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins. Joseph E. Trumpey, Chief Scientific Illustrator (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. pp. 113–122. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0. 
  • Tickell, W.L.N. (2000). Albatrosses. Robertsbridge, UK: Pica Press. 
  • Udvardy, Miklos, D.F.; Farrand Jr., John (1994) [1977]. "Species Account". In Locke, Edie. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds. National Audubon Field Guide Series. Birds (Western Region) (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 356–357. ISBN 0-679-42851-8. 
  • Waid, Robert, 2005 ed. The Majestic Albatross - Images of Kauai's Beloved Seabird
  • Whittow, G. Causey (1993). Poole, A.; Gill, F., eds. Laysan Albatross (Diomedea immutabilis). The Birds of North America, No. 66 (The Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia); The American Ornithologists’ Union (Washington, D.C.)). 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Formerly in genus Diomedea; tranferred to Phoebastria by AOU (1997). Occasionally hybridizes with P. nigripes (AOU 1998).

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