The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that the 40th offspring of the world’s oldest known wild bird was born. The 70-year-old Layson albatross named Wisdom (Wise) lives on Midway Atoll, a small island about 2,000 kilometers from Hawaii.
Wisdom, thought to be born in 1951, was first watched by the institution in 1956. It is stated that the animal has mated with a male bird named ‘Akeakamai’ since 2010 and has given birth to at least 40 babies to date.
However, albatrosses only lay one egg each year. This situation makes it necessary for each puppy to be raised in a healthy way for the continuation of the breed. For this reason, Midway Atoll is among the habitats protected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Laysan albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis) spend 90 percent of their lives at sea, which means researchers can examine them when they return to their breeding grounds around the Hawaiian islands.
“The return of the Albatross not only inspires bird lovers but also helps us better understand how we can preserve these graceful seabirds and the habitats they need to survive in the future,” said Beth Flint, spokesperson for the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). .
First described scientifically by the British zoologist Lionel Walter Rothschild in 1893, Laysan albatrosses are the second most common seabirds in the Hawaiian Islands, with an estimated population of 2.5 million birds. Until the 21st century, Layson albatrosses were thought to live an average of 40 years, until Wisdom refuted this assumption.
Researchers first learned that Wisdom has lived for a long time in 2002, when Chandler Robbins of the US Fish and Wildlife Service noticed that the bird’s identity ring had been damaged. When Robbins examined the label more closely, he noticed that the ring was stuck by him 46 years ago when he was still a student.
On the other hand, Flint said Wisdom’s reaching age of 70 is impressive, given the threats currently facing Laysan albatrosses, including climate change, the threat of sharks, invasive mice, and increasing plastic pollution.