|The tsunami washed over the red-shaded areas; USFWS graphic.|
- "...more than 110,000 Laysan and black-footed albatross chicks – about 22 percent of this year’s albatross production..." have been lost this year as a result of winter storms followed by the tsunami
- "At least 2000 adults were also killed."
- "Wisdom, the 60-year-old albatross that recently hatched a chick, was initially reported as surviving the event because her nest site was not overwashed, but biologists have not been able to confirm her survival."
- Only 4 albatross chicks have been found on the Atoll's smallest island, Spit. Before the winter storms and tsunami, there had been 1520 albatross nests.
- Although the Short-tailed Albatross has survived all winter storms and the tsunami, the "chick's parents...have not been seen since the tsunami. Since the chick is incapable of fending for itself, the Service will carefully consider whether hand-rearing this bird is appropriate if it is determined that it is not being fed by its parents."
There's nothing we can do to prevent tsunamis and other natural disasters. Even with loss of many individual birds, albatross species have survived these events before, and we expect them to survive this one, too.
But what we can do is work to prevent human disasters on wildlife. For example, we can be more careful about keeping plastic out of the ocean, so that albatross don't die from swallowing it by mistake. Fishing boats can catch fish with gear that doesn't accidentally catch albatross.
Let's try harder to protect albatross and our Planet Earth!