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DocWatch
albatross
Twitterit?
News stories about "albatross," with punchlines: http://apocadocs.com/d.pl?albatross
Related Scary Tags:
koyaanisqatsi  ~ bird collapse  ~ plastic problems  ~ holyshit  ~ toxic buildup  ~ invasive species  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ climate impacts  ~ heavy metals  



Mon, May 26, 2014
from Mother Jones:
Something Is Seriously Wrong on the East Coast--and It's Killing All the Baby Puffins
Now, thanks to a grant from the Annenberg Foundation, the Puffin Cam offered new opportunities for research and outreach. Puffin parents dote on their single chick, sheltering it in a two-foot burrow beneath rocky ledges and bringing it piles of small fish each day. Researchers would get to watch live puffin feeding behavior for the first time, and schoolkids around the world would be falling for Petey. But Kress soon noticed that something was wrong. Puffins dine primarily on hake and herring, two teardrop-shaped fish that have always been abundant in the Gulf of Maine. But Petey's parents brought him mostly butterfish, which are shaped more like saucers. Kress watched Petey repeatedly pick up butterfish and try to swallow them. The video is absurd and tragic, because the butterfish is wider than the little gray fluff ball, who keeps tossing his head back, trying to choke down the fish, only to drop it, shaking with the effort. Petey tries again and again, but he never manages it. For weeks, his parents kept bringing him butterfish, and he kept struggling. Eventually, he began moving less and less. On July 20, Petey expired in front of a live audience. Puffin snuff.... Why would the veteran puffin parents of Maine start bringing their chicks food they couldn't swallow? Only because they had no choice. Herring and hake had dramatically declined in the waters surrounding Seal Island, and by August, Kress had a pretty good idea why: The water was much too hot. ...


Nobody expects the photogenic to die young.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 13, 2011
from PNAS, via EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Mercury rising in endangered Pacific seabirds
Using 120 years of feathers from natural history museums in the US, Harvard University researchers have been able to track increases in the neurotoxin methylmercury in the black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), an endangered seabird that forages extensively throughout the Pacific. The study shows that the observed increase in methylmercury levels, most likely from human-generated emissions, can be observed and tracked over broad time periods in organisms that live in the Pacific Ocean.... "Given both the high levels of methylmercury that we measured in our most recent samples and regional levels of emissions, mercury bioaccumulation and toxicity may undermine reproductive effort in this species and other long-lived, endangered seabirds."... "Methylmercury has no benefit to animal life and we are starting to find high levels in endangered and sensitive species across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems, indicating that mercury pollution and its subsequent chemical reactions in the environment may be important factors in species population declines," says study co-author Michael Bank of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). ...


What do feathers have to do with my thermometer?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jan 1, 2009
from Science Daily (US):
Killer Mice Bring Albatross Population Closer To Extinction
The critically endangered Tristan albatross (Diomedea dabbenena) has suffered its worst breeding season ever, according to research by the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK). The number of chicks making it through to fledging has decreased rapidly, and it is now five times lower than it should be because introduced predatory mice are eating the chicks alive on Gough island -- the bird's only home and a South Atlantic territory of the United Kingdom.... "Unsustainable numbers are being killed on land and at sea. Without major conservation efforts, the Tristan Albatross will become extinct". ...


'Why look'st thou so ?' -- With my [mouse]-bow
I [killed] the ALBATROSS.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 26, 2008
from BBC (UK):
Plastic and the Midway albatross
The Midway Islands are home to some of the world's most valuable and endangered species and they all are at risk from choking, starving or drowning in the plastic drifting in the ocean. Nearly two million Laysan albatrosses live here and researchers have come to the staggering conclusion that every single one contains some quantity of plastic. About one-third of all albatross chicks die on Midway, many as the result of being mistakenly fed plastic by their parents. ...


The numbers of dead albatrosses hanging from humanity's necks
just keeps increasing.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Feb 23, 2008
from National Geographic:
Rat Invasions Causing Seabird Decline Worldwide
"The global analysis found that non-native rats have been observed preying on roughly a quarter of all seabird species, often with disastrous consequences.... Now 102 of 328 recognized seabird species are considered threatened or endangered by the World Conservation Union, with predation by invasive species ranking among the top dangers." ...


"Traveling with humans as ship stowaways, three rat species native to Europe and Asia have become established on about 90 percent of the world's major islands and island chains, experts say."
Now that's globalization!

ApocaDoc
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