About– They belong to the family “Diomedeidae”, are large seabirds. The Wandering Albatross have the longest wingspans(195 to 335cm) of any extant birds. Albatrosses are ‘carnivores’ in their food choice.
Conservation Status: Of the 22 known species of Albatross, all but one of them has been listed as at some level of concern by the BirdLife Red List team.
- IUCN status of Wandering Albatross – Vulnerable.
Range: They are found widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. They are absent from the North Atlantic.
- Their life span is more than 70 years.
- When courting, Albatross perform mating dances.
- Albatrosses can cover 16,000 kilometres in a single foraging trip. Also, they can travel almost 1,000 km per day without flapping their wings.
Threat– Today, 15 of the world’s 22 albatross species are on the brink of extinction. Numbers of albatrosses have declined in the past due to-
- harvesting for feathers.
- introduced species, like rats and feral cats that attack eggs, chicks, and nesting adults.
- By pollution and serious decline in fish stocks in many regions largely due to overfishing.
- Longline fishing-It poses the greatest threat, as feeding birds are attracted to the bait, become hooked on the lines, and drown.
Conservation Initiatives: In 2005, BirdLife and the UK’s RSPB jointly launched the Albatross Task Force, working alongside governments, communities and fishers to prevent accidental seabird ‘bycatch’.