Rare flight of Antarctic’s Light-mantled Albatross to Tamil Nadu

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Rare flight of Antarctic’s Light-mantled Albatross to Tamil Nadu

  • Rameswaram and adjoining islets of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park grabbed attention of international researchers as Asia’s first sighting of Light-mantled Albatross (Phoebetria palpebrate), a species native to the Antarctic seas, was recorded here.

Key Highlights

  • Fulf of Mannar area is known for unique marine ecosystem.
  • The sighting was published in Journal of Threatened Taxa
  • It has been regarded as surprising transcontinental tour of the Antarctic seabird.
  • This finding directs researchers to look for bird migration away from established routes and sites.

Reason for being sighted in Tamil nadu

  • Change in atmospheric pressure can be the reason for Albatross to land on an Indian shore.
  • Changes in wind pattern triggered by global warming.
  • Birds like albatross use wind and save their energy during flights.
  • Slight changes in temperature can cause drastic changes in wind pattern and birds could land in far-away places that are not familiar to them.

About the bird

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  • Light-mantled Albatross, with broad pelagic habits, maintains a circumpolar distribution in the Southern Ocean.
  • It breeds 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).
  • It forages over cold Antarctic waters as far south as the pack ice in summer.
  • Conservation status: ‘Near Threatened’ by IUCN
  • Worldwide population of 21,600 breeding pairs, according to an estimate in 1998.

Prelims take away

  • Albatross (Phoebetria palpebrate)
  • Migratory birds
  • Sub-Antarctic islands
  • Gulf of Mannar
  • Marine National Park