- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - A wildlife refuge on the Hawaiian island of Oahu has provided a new home for endangered albatross chicks.

Researchers recently moved 25 chicks to the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on Oahu from their birthplace on the Midway Atoll 1,300 miles (about 2,093 kilometers) away, the Garden Island reported Tuesday.

Conservationists say moving the chicks will help foster new colonies on Oahu and contribute to a growing population.

The black-footed chicks will be fed fish and squid and closely monitored by biologists for four to five months until they are able to fly out to sea and feed themselves.

“As conservation managers, it is important we use good science to evaluate other options that might protect these seabirds into the future,” said Bob Peyton, Midway Atoll Refuge and Memorial Project leader. “Refuges like Midway Atoll and James Campbell provide the healthy habitat that black-footed albatross, and other seabirds, need to thrive.”

The black-footed albatross is one of three albatross species seen regularly in the north Pacific, according to the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project.

But the black-footed variety is listed as endangered due to threats such as longline fishing and plastic waste consumption.

The nonprofit group Pacific Rim Conservation and its partners moved 40 black-footed albatross chicks from Midway and Tern Island, Hawaii, to the Campbell refuge in 2017 and 2018.

The Campbell refuge’s elevation lowers the risk from rising sea-levels and storm surges. A fence ensures protection from predators such as mongooses, rats, and feral cats and dogs.


Information from: The Garden Island, http://thegardenisland.com/

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