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Across the Open Ocean: The Plight of the Laysan Albatross

The Laysan albatross is a long-lived pelagic seabird. As such, it faces various marine conservation issues, most notably plastic pollution and longline fisheries.
by

Allison Oborn

on 19 April 2013

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Transcript of Across the Open Ocean: The Plight of the Laysan Albatross

Laysan Albatross Threats to the Laysan Albatross How Do We Know? There are 591,000 breeding pairs of Laysan albatross

They all nest at sixteen sites in the Pacific Ocean

99% of these birds nest on the Northwestern Hawaiian islands

IUCN lists the Laysan albatross as near threatened.

There are two main threats to the Laysan albatross: Plastic pollution and the longline fishing industry Across the Open Ocean-The Plight of the Laysan Albatross Most of the Earth’s surface is water

We need water to survive

Scientists estimate that 2.2 million species live in the water

Personal Interest What we do on land affects the Laysan albatross! Satellite telemetry
Be aware of where albatrosses live
Eat seafood from sustainable fisheries that do not use longline fishing
Recycle Telemetry tells us where albatrosses and fisheries overlap!

Telemetry tells us where albatrosses forage! Maps like this are produced by tracking an albatross using satellite telemetry and then mapping it.

Maps like this show us where albatrosses overlap with the fishing industry, and show where the highest amounts of bycatch, or animals caught incidentally while fishing for other species, through longline fishing- one of the main threats to albatross conservation, may occur. Maps like this (Young, et al., 2009) show us the relationship of nesting sites of the Laysan albatross to the gyres. This study showed that birds nesting at Kure Atoll foraged in the Western Garbage Patch and consumed 10 times the amount of plastic as birds nesting at Oahu. What can we do? Most plastic pollution starts on land!
Americans buy 4 billion gallons of water in plastic bottles!
2, 000, 000 plastic bottles are used in the US every five minutes!
93% of plastic bottles are not recycled!
Water bottles discarded in the US can circle the Earth 5 times! Bibliography: Alsop, F. (2001). Birds of North America. New York: DK.
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Auman, H., Ludwig, J.P., Giesey, J., Colborn, T. (1997). Plastic ingestion by Laysan albatross chicks on Sand Island, Midway Atoll 1994-1995. Albatross biology and conservation. 1: 239-244.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Phoebastria immutabilis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/04/2013.
Fernandez, P., Anderson, D. , Sievert, P., Huyvaert, K. (2001). Foraging destinations of three low-altitude albatross(Pheobastria) species. Journal of Zoology (254)3: 391-404.
Fischer, K. N., Suryan, R. M., Roby, D. D., & Balogh, G. R. (2009). Post-breeding season distribution of black-footed and Laysan albatrosses satellite-tagged in Alaska: Inter-specific differences in spatial overlap with North Pacific fisheries. Biological Conservation, 142(4), 751-760.
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Kostigen, T. M., & Magazine, F. D. (2008). The world’s largest dump: the great pacific garbage patch. Discover.
Mate, B., Best, P., Winsor, M. 2011. Coastal, offshore, and migratory movements of South African right whales revealed by satellite telemetry. Marine Mammal Science 27: 455-476.
NOAA. (n.d.). Seabird interactions and mitigation efforts in Hawaiian longline fisheries. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/SFD/pdfs/seabird/2011%20Annual%20Seabird%20Report%20(2012-11-21).pdf
Pitman, R.L., Walker, W.A., Everett, W.T. & Gallo-Reynoso, J.P. (2004.) Population status, foods and foraging of Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis nesting on Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Marine Ornithology 32: 159-165.
Schaffer, S., Tremblay, Y., Awkerman, J., Henry, R., Teo, S., Anderson, J., Croll, D., Block, B., and Costa, D. (2005). Comparison of light and SST based geolocation with satellite telemetry in free ranging albatrosses. Marine Biology (147)4: 833-843.
Tverra, T., Saether, R. & Erikstaad, K.E.(1998). Regulation of food provisioning in the Antarctic petrel;the importance of parental body condition and chick body mass. Journal of Animal Ecology 67: 699-704.
Weimerskerch, H. (2007). Are seabirds foraging for unpredictable resources? Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 54: 211-223.
Young L.C., Vanderlip C., Duffy D.C., Afanasyev V., Shaffer S.A. (2009) Bringing home the trash: do colony-based differences in foraging distribution lead to increased plastic ingestion in Laysan albatrosses? PLoS ONE 4(10): e7623.
Žydelis, R., Lewison, R. L., Shaffer, S. A., Moore, J. E., Boustany, A. M., Roberts, J. J., ... & Crowder, L. B. (2011). Dynamic habitat models: using telemetry data to project fisheries bycatch. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278(1722), 3191-3200. Telemetry, or radio tagging, is a non-invasive, remote observation technology. In these studies, a light, noninvasive transmitter or tag is affixed to the animal being observed. These transmitters or tags take the form of either a collar, leg band, or otherwise glued to the animal. These tags, in combination with a receiver, collect data about the animal, such as location. Good Seafood Choices: Seafood Watch Good Sushi Choices For More Information and Ways to Help: About the Effects of Plastic Pollution: http://5gyres.org/ http://midwayfilm.com/ About the Effects of Longline Fishing http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/fisheries/seabirds_and_longlines.html
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