Short tailed albatros, endangered animals

Essay by carlstrate9 March 2007

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The short tailed albatross, or phoebastria albatrus, is one of the many endangered species of birds. This specimen was legally listed as endangered on July 31, 2000. The reason being for the short tailed albatross' becoming endangered was due to its high profit to feather hunters. Prior to its exploitation, the short tailed albatross was possibly the most abundant of the three North Pacific albatross species. Feather hunters, prior to and following the turn of the 20th century, harvested millions of these birds, resulting in the near-extirpation of the species by the mid-20th century. Presently, fewer than 2000 short-tailed albatrosses are known to exist. Torishima, where 80 to 85 percent of short-tailed albatrosses breed, is an active Volcano, and Tsubame-zaki, the natural colony site on this island, is susceptible to mud slides and erosion. The major Threat of over-exploitation that led to the species' original endangered status no longer occurs.

The primary existing threat to the species' recovery is the possibility of an eruption of Torishima, their main breeding site. A minor eruption occurred there in August of 2002, after the end of the breeding season. In an attempt to save the birds from becoming totally extinct, The Japanese Government designated the short-tailed albatross as a Natural monument in 1958 and as a Special Bird for Protection in 1972. Torishima is also a Japanese Natural Monument. In addition to the birds becoming a natural monument, an artificial colony has also been set up in another less erosive location on Torishima (Hatsune-zaki). As of the 2004-05 seasons, four pairs have nested and fledged chicks at the artificial colony site. The remainder of known short-tailed albatrosses breed at a site in the Senkaku Islands, to the southwest of Torishima, where volcanism is not a threat, but political uncertainty and...