4 octubre, 2023

Blackfoot Albatross nesting colonies growing in Guadalupe Island thanks to trinational efforts


Through the so called Black-footed Albatross Translocation project from the, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, in the United States of America, to the Isla Guadalupe Biosphere Reserve, in Mexico, since 2021 93 chicks have been raised with an average reproductive success of over 90%, according to Mexico´s Environmental Protection Secretary (SEMARNAT in Spanish).

This reproductive ratio is similar to the wild population of Laysan albatross on Guadalupe Island and that of black-footed albatross translocation projects on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii, in the United States of America. It is expected that, in 2024 there will be between 120 and 125 chicks born in this Protected Natural Area (ANP), and more than half of these newborn individuals will return to the island, in order to prospect and look for a mate between 3 and 5 years of age first, and then to reproduce, between 6 and 9 years, SEMARNAT informed.

A big number of blackfoot albatross chicks are in danger because of nest flooding, caused mainly by storms brought by climate change

It is important to mention that both Mexico and the United States are joining efforts to save this species of seabird from the climate change impact and chicks and eggs transported from Midway Atoll to Guadalupe Island are rescued from imminent death due to the flooding of their nests, which is caused by the increasing number and intensity of storms and sea level rise.

The Hawaiian Islands is the place where Black-footed Albatross main nesting colonies are found.

The Translocation project is an inter-institutional and international collaboration among SEMARNAT, Protected Areas National Commission (CONANP), the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), the General Direction of Animal Health (DGSA) of the National Agri-food Health, Safety and Quality Service (SENASICA), the Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Other institutions involved in the Translocation Project are: The Canada/Mexico/U.S. Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge; Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Pacific Rim Conservation (PRC) and the Island Ecology and Conservation Group (GECI).

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