Ten Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus chicks have been moved by helicopter from their current stronghold on volcanic Torishima Island to the site of a former colony 350 km to the south-east. The translocation site, Mukojima, part of Japan’s Bonin Islands), is non-volcanic. Short-tailed Albatrosses bred here at least until the 1920s. Members of the the joint Japan/US Short-tailed Albatross Recovery Team (START) will spend the next three months feeding the chicks before they take wing and head out to sea. It will be five years before they reach sexual maturity and are ready to return to breed. The START team intends to translocate at least ten more chicks annually for the next five years.
ACAP’s Advisory Committee is currently considering whether the Short-tailed Albatross (and the other two North Pacific Albatrosses) should be listed within the Agreement. For the full translocation story go to:
Posted by John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer
23 March 2008