Scott Shaffer, UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA -- There's excitment in the air, hormones are raging, lots of singing and dancing, and well..... albatrosses are doing what comes naturally at this time of year. They're breeding.
Scott Shaffer, at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab. Only two out of the nine satellite-tagged fledgling albatrosses that took to the air for the first time in July are still sending back signals. A Laysan and a black-footed albatross are still transmitting their positions as they soar across the wide Pacific Ocean. But, along with another black-footed albatross who stopped reporting about 10 days ago, these birds sent back locations for 117-119 days. That's our new record!!
Thousands of albatross die each year from entanglement with fishing gear. Primarily, albatrosses scavenge for baits containing hooks that are dropped over the side of vessels fishing for tuna and other pelagic fish (see BirdLife International's website "Save the Albatross" for more details. Of course the birds don't know that when they bite into the fish, they are being hooked and eventually pulled underwater by the wait of the longline as it sinks. Unfortunately, this is one of the greatest threats to albatross populations.
Scott Shaffer from UCSanta Cruz Long Marine Lab. Since deploying satellite transmitters on 9 fledgling albatrosses back in July, we felt it was long overdue for an update
Scott Shaffer monitoring Black-footed Albatross. Well, a total of 9 albatross fledglings have been equipped with satellite transmitters and they have all
Scott Shaffer, monitoring Midway Atoll. Every summer, the beaches of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands become filled with eager beavers.
Scott Shaffer from Palmyra Atoll. Palmyra Atoll is unique in many ways but its bird diversity and abundance are remarkable.
Scott Shaffer, from Palmyra Atoll, Pacific Ocean. [Scott Schaffer,