The albatross Wisdom, at almost 63 the world’s oldest, banded wild bird, laid another egg in late November, a year and a day after her last one. She’s at Midway Atoll Refuge, nesting site for 71 percent of the world’s population of Laysan albatross.
When a ship arrived at an island in the North Pacific in the late 1700s, it brought more than cargo and splintered wood. It brought rats.
These invasive mammals thrived on the island, eating up local birds and their eggs. As a result, the spot took on the moniker “Rat Island,” and it was known for its eerie silence and lack of birdsong.
In 2008, a team of scientists and environmentalists killed the rats with rodenticides. Since then, birds have returned to the island in numbers large enough to surprise experts, according to a statement from Island Conservation, one of the groups involved in exterminating the rats, along with help from The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…
Also known as the spanner crab, the red frog crab is a species of frog crab that is found throughout parts of the Pacific. Like other frog crabs this species is nocturnal and takes shelter in the sand during the day. Like the unrelated mole crabs the red frog crabs claws are modified for digging and allow it to bury itself into the sand easily.
Red frog crabs are edible and are fished commercially throughout its range.
… is found in both forested and open habitats, and has adapted well to man-made environments such as grasslands, pasture and gardens. Pairs have a courtship display in which they fly above the trees in an undulating flight, calling constantly. Breeding birds build a domed grass nest with a side entrance, and lay a clutch normally of four white eggs. The Fiji Parrotfinch eats seeds, especially of grasses, but also readily feeds on insects and nectar. It forms small flocks of up to six birds after the breeding season…
This squat lobster (Galathea pilosa), is a very rare species found in the shallow waters of French Polynesia. It is unique in its bright colouring, but its flattened body with the tail curled under the thorax is typical for its genus.
The Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial arthropod on Earth, reaching up to 28 kilos with a leg span of nearly a meter! They are found on various islands and shorelines around the Indo-Pacific, where they feed on coconuts…
… also known as Flame Dove, is a small, approximately 20 cm (8 in) long, short-tailed fruit-dove in the family Columbidae. One of the most colorful doves, the male has a golden olive head and elongated bright orange “hair-like” body feathers. The golden-olive remiges are typically covered by the long orange wing coverts when perched. The legs, bill and orbital skin are bluish-green and the iris is whitish. The female is a dark green bird with blackish tail and orange-yellow undertail coverts. The young resembles female.
A Double-banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus) in breeding plumage. This wader averages 18 cm (7.1 in) in length and lives in beaches, mud flats, grasslands and on bare ground in the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia.
Keepers at the Mountain Zoo in Germany are celebrating after successfully breeding Roti Island snake necked turtles (Chelodina mccordi) for the very first time. The species is considered to be extremely endangered and hails from Rote Island, which is south west of Timor and north of Australia. The newborns are currently around 3cm long but will grow to around 24cm
This colorful, tropical bird called the Tuamotu kingfisher lives on one tiny island — Niau in the Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia, in the south Pacific. Today, just 125 of the birds exist, and scientists say they will go extinct without serious intervention.
By working with farmers and residents on the island inhabited by the kingfishers, Dylan Kesler, at the University of Missouri’s School of Natural Resources, has come up with factors critical to the birds’ survival. These include: hunting perches; clear ground so they can spot their primary food, lizards; dead trees for nesting; means for keeping predators away from the birds’ nests.
Sea-Level Rise Forecasted in New Study Poses Grave Threat to Many Nesting Birds at Pacific Islands
ABC media release
Dynamic modeling of sea-level rise, which takes storm wind and wave action into account, paints a much graver picture for birds at some low-lying Pacific islands under climate-change scenarios than the so-called passive models used in earlier research, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report.
A team led by research oceanographer Curt Storlazzi of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center compared passive “bathtub” inundation models (which analyze rising sea levels without considering effects of wave action and storm wind) with dynamic models for two of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The team studied Midway, a classic atoll with islands on the shallow (2–8 meters or 6–26 feet deep) atoll rim and a deep, central lagoon, and Laysan, which is higher, with a 20–30 meter (65–98 feet) deep rim and an island in the center of the atoll.
Together, the two locations exhibit landforms and coastal features common to many Pacific islands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they are also among the world’s most important seabird nesting sites, as well as being home to the endangered Laysan Duck, Laysan Finch, and a recently established population of Millerbirds…