Mice Doing Albatross In

Predatory rodents are eating the chicks of the Critically Endangered Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena to the extent that they have had the worst breeding season recorded so far.

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The mice are also affecting Gough Island’s other Critically Endangered endemic species, Gough Bunting Rowettia goughensis. A recent survey of the bunting’s population revealed that the population has halved within the last two decades. Now there are only an estimated 400-500 pairs left.

“We’ve known for a long time that the mice were killing albatross chicks in huge numbers. However, we now know that the albatrosses have suffered their worst year on record”, said Richard Cuthbert, an RSPB scientist who has been researching the mice problem on Gough Island since 2000. “We also know that the mice are predators on the eggs and chicks of the Gough bunting and mice predation is the main factor behind their recent decline.”

Comments

  1. #1 alcari
    December 17, 2008

    Natural Selection’s a bitch

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    December 17, 2008

    I should mention: These are introduced mice.

  3. #3 Ian
    December 18, 2008

    “I should mention: These are introduced mice.”

    Mouse, meet albatross. Albatross, meet mouse.

    Albatross: Hello Mouse, how are you?

    Mouse: ALBATROSS! Albatross on a stick! Get yer ALBATROSS!