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  • 27 July, 2022

  • 8 Min Read



Asia’s first sighting of the Light Mantled Albatross, a species native to the Antarctic has been spotted on the Rameswaram coast.

The researchers feel a change in atmospheric pressure could have been among the reason for the albatross to land on an Indian shore.

About Albatross

  • They have nasal tubes on the upper bill called naricorns, though with albatrosses these are on the sides of the upper mandible rather than the top.
  • They also have a salt gland above the nasal passage which excretes a concentrated saline solution to maintain osmotic balance, due to the amount of seawater imbibed.
  • The Light-mantled Albatross, with broad pelagic habits, maintains a circumpolar distribution in the Southern Ocean.
  • It breeds mainly on several sub-Antarctic islands, such as Macquarie Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands (Australia), South Georgia Island (British Overseas Territory), Prince Edward Islands (South Africa), Iles Kerguelen and Iles Crozet (France), and Auckland, Campbell, and Antipodes Islands (New Zealand).
  • The species forage over cold Antarctic waters as far south as the pack ice in summer.
  • Light-mantled Albatross is listed as a 'Near Threatened' species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Reason for migration

  • The changes in the wind pattern triggered by global warming are bringing strange birds to different regions.
  • A lot of changes are happening in the wind pattern owing to the increase in atmospheric temperature is one of the main reasons for the migration of the species.
  • Birds like albatross, which are known to be on the move, use the wind and save their energy during flights.
  • Even slight changes in the temperature can cause drastic changes in the wind pattern and birds could land in far-away places that are not familiar to them.
  • Threat: Potential predators on some breeding islands are giant petrels, feral cats, and rodents. At sea, they are threatened by bycatch in the longline fishery and through starvation by eating plastic marine debris.


Source: The Hindu

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