8.  Dangers

On land:

On Kauai the main threats are uncontrolled dogs and feral cats..  In spite of leash laws and protective regulations, dogs have gotten loose and killed both adult albatross and their chicks.  In the residential neighborhoods, this is minimal due to the vigilance of residents watching for loose animals. The serious incidents occur on more isolated agricultural and open land where fewer people can see and react to the problem. 

 A few birds over the years have been hit by cars.  

At sea:

Floating debris on the ocean water can be ingested as the albatross scoop up fish, squid, and fish eggs from the surface.  This flotsam of bottle caps, plastic can holders, plastic lighters, and other discarded materials can accumulate in the digestive process, eventually dooming the bird to starvation when it cannot get enough nutrients.

Another serious threat is commercial fishing operations. in their feeding waters.  Albatross are killed by the tens of thousands each year by being snagged or hooked long lines trailing the ships or by being caught in surface nets.  Some conservation groups have published estimates that more than 100,000 albatross are killed accidentally each year in fishing operations.  Major efforts are underway to educate and equip commercial fishermen with tools and procedures to reduce this unfortunate loss.

Endangered Status:

The Laysan Albatross are in the “vulnerable” classification, the third most serious category.  While they are not "critically endangered",  albatross are protected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under the Migratory Bird Act, with stiff fines for harming or harassing any albatross. 

 

 

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