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Tasmanian Shy Albatross Introduced to Artificial Nests as an Attempt to Boost Populations

Source: The Guardian/Naaman Zhou - October 12, 2017 in Environment

Tasmanian Shy Albatross Introduced to Artificial Nests as an Attempt to Boost Populations
Photo: JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Tasmanian shy albatross has embraced the idea of settling down in an artificial, specially constructed nest, according to scientists who are trying to boost the population of the endangered seabird.

A trial of the nests was announced in June to help the breeding success of the endangered species, which biologists believe are vulnerable to the environmental effects of climate change.

By installing high-quality artificial nests, scientists hope more chicks will survive to adulthood, and early signs are that the birds are on board.

Rachael Alderman, who has studied the shy albatross for 15 years, said most of the 120 nests installed on Albatross Island off the north-west Tasmanian coast were being used by the birds.

“Albatross lay a single egg each year and on average, over half the attempts will fail,” she said. “Monitoring data shows that pairs breeding on high-quality nests have higher breeding success [rates] than those on poorer quality nests.

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