USFWS
Fisheries & Ecological Services
Alaska Region   

 

Recovery Activities

 

Short-tailed Albatross.  Photo Credit: Kiyoaki Ozaki

Initial recovery efforts in the 1970s-80s by Dr. Hiroshi Hasegawa focused on stabilizing the nesting habitat on Torishima were breeding short-tailed albatrosses were first rediscovered, and where the majority (~80%) of the population still nests.  These efforts greatly improved nestling survival to support a higher population growth rate.  Next during the 1990s the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology used decoys and audio playback to establish a second colony at a more stable site on Torishima.  After these successful efforts on Torishima, recovery activities turned to re-establishing colonies on different islands and reducing threats to albatrosses at-sea.  In 2006, an international coalition of scientists and managers began developing translocation and hand-rearing techniques using surrogate albatross species.  In 2008, they began translocating short-tailed albatross chicks to the island of Mukojima in the hopes of establishing a new colony site.  This historic project has already shown promising results, with translocated birds returning to the island to make breeding attempts. Ongoing efforts to reduce the accidental capture of short-tailed albatrosses in longline fisheries have been highly successful.  The species still has a long way to go before it can be considered for delisting from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but thanks to the efforts of many, the species is on the road to recovery.

Short-tailed Albatross home page