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Australia Tas albatrosses make artificial nests home

05:22  08 february  2018
05:22  08 february  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Home . Follow Video Shy Albatross Make Artificial Nests Their Own The birds are increasingly facing threats from climate change, but artificial nests may “The albatrosses using the artificial nests are displaying all the usual courting rituals, territorial behaviours and nesting activities that we would

On a windswept island off Tasmania 's northwest coast, shy albatross chicks are settling in to artificial nests in what conservationists hope will boost the species' vulnerable population.

Tas albatrosses make artificial nests home© Getty Images Tas albatrosses make artificial nests home On a windswept island off Tasmania's northwest coast, shy albatross chicks are settling in to artificial nests in what conservationists hope will boost the species' vulnerable population.

More than 100 specially-built mudbrick nests were airlifted in July to the aptly-named Albatross Island in Bass Strait.

They were installed in areas where the birds' naturally-made nests were poor quality, often as little as a scrape on the rocks.

This breeding season's eggs have now hatched, with dozens of fluffy chicks calling the man-made nests home.

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Shy albatross don't just mate anywhere or with anyone. They prefer to do it in the same place every year and with the same partner. But on Bass Strait's Albatross Island near Tasmania , scientists say a changing climate has been killing the mood.

Alderman said shy albatrosses form long-term monogamous pair bonds and have elaborate So if something happens to make that harder to achieve, their populations really do suffer.” The nests will be approximately 1 metre wide and 30cm high. The shy albatross is listed as “vulnerable” by the

"At this stage in the trial, the breeding success of pairs on artificial nests is 20 per cent higher than those on natural nests," biologist Rachael Alderman said.

"There are many more months ahead for all the chicks, and a lot can change, but so far it's very promising."

Shy albatross mums lay only one egg per year in late September that incubates for 72 days.

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Researchers positioned the artificial nests just as the birds were starting to stake out nest sites. "While some species can physically relocate to more favourable environments or adapt in other ways, the biology of albatross make them particularly vulnerable to rapid negative changes.

Albatross breeding success has fallen due to warming air temperatures. Nests built of aerated concrete and mudbrick were placed on Bass Strait’s Albatross Island. Read more in "Shy Albatross Make Artificial Nests Their Own—Giving Scientists Hope for Their Species." https

Both parents, who form a long-term pair, spend roughly five months feeding and caring for the chick.

It's thought half the chicks don't survive in the tough conditions.

"Albatross Island gets hit with wild weather," World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia's Darren Grover, who visited the island in December, said.

"The artificial nests were all intact but many of the natural nests were already starting to deteriorate."

The shy albatross, listed by the WWF as vulnerable, only nests off three remote Tasmanian islands - Albatross Island, Pedra Branca and Mewstone.

It's estimated there are 15,000 breeding pairs in the wild.

The trial is run by the state and federal governments, CSIRO, World Wildlife Fund and the Tasmanian Albatross Fund.

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