Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Hope for a new colony: two Black-footed Albatrosses seen courting within the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve

Two Black-footed Albatrosses Phoebastria nigripes are being seen regularly within the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, according to a Facebook posting by the NGO Pacific Rim Conservation which monitors breeding Laysan Albatrosses P. immutabilis within the reserve.

 

Forming a pair? Two Black-footed Albatrosses interact in the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve, photograph from Pacific Rim Conservation

One bird has been seen in the predator-proof fenced reserve since early January (banded purple V541) and was joined by a second Black-footed Albatross in mid-February. The two birds have been seen undertaking courtship dances regularly.  A few Black-footed decoys have been present for some years and the occasional bird has been seen on site since at least 2013.

Because the majority of Black-footed Albatrosses breeds on low-lying atolls, the establishment of a breeding colony at Kaena Point, protected from predicted sea level rise by its altitude, would add to the efforts being made to establish another colony on Oahu, by hand-rearing translocated Back-footed Albatross chicks in the James Campbell Wildlife Refuge (click here). This project, also operated by Pacific Rim Conservation, is now in its third year (click here).

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 04 March 2019

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