BIRTH of rare albatross inspires new hope for remote New Zealand colony.
Conservationists have been delighted after a single Antipodean albatross chick was born in the remote New Zealand colony on the Chatham Islands. It is hoped that this new bird will be the start of a new nesting colony.
The Antipodean albatross only breed in New Zealand, and are classified as “nationally critical”. They are the largest birds on the ocean and are thought to only have 3000 pairs left that are breeding. Sadly, they are close to becoming extinct.
The stunning birds fly over 100,000 km a year and can go for years at sea without needing to touch land.
The chick was born on Chathams’ Pitt Island and conservationists are excited as they attached a tracking device to allow them to monitor where it roams. So far it has covered 12,500 km, and it spends plenty of time flying around the South Pacific.
Igor Debski, principal marine science adviser at the Department of Conservation, hopes that the tracking device will allow the team to get a better idea of how the birds live out at sea and what their movement patterns are.
Igor said, “Albatross spend most of their time on the ocean and while we are taking action to protect them on land, once they fledge and disperse to international waters we’re limited with what we can do,”
“That some birds have managed to rear a chick at this little outpost suggests it has potential to become a new colony.”
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