A project of Albatross Conservation Collaborative.
click map for full-size version
Species: Black-footed Albatross
Life Stage: class 2 plumage
Release Date: 2005-07-19 10:37:00
Release Location: Cordell Bank
Last Location: 2005-09-01 11:28:48
Lo'ihi is named after a prominent bathymetric feature in the central North Pacific Ocean, at approximately latitude 18.9 o N and longitude 155.3 o W. Lo'ihi seamount, sometimes known as the "youngest volcano" in the Hawaiian chain, is an undersea mountain rising more than 3000 m above the floor. Lo'ihi sits submerged in the Pacific off the south-eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, 28 km southeast of Kilauea volcano.
A seamount is a submarine mountain rising over 1000 m from the seafloor but not reaching the surface of the ocean. Seamounts deflect ocean currents, enhance mixing of the water column, and promote high local primary productivity. Many marine top predators, including tunas, cetaceans, and seabirds are thought to aggregate at these bathymetric features. Black-footed albatrosses are often found in higher densities in the vicinity of North Pacific seamounts.
The "Exploring Albatross Movements" program seeks to assess the conservation status of the Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), during the post-breeding dispersal period (from July to October) in the North Pacific Ocean.
We tag albatross at-sea within the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, off central California, and use satellite tracking and remote sensing imagery to identify important foraging grounds and habitats defined by seafloor depth and water properties (e.g., sea surface temperature, ocean productivity).
Within this larger context, this research addresses four priorities:
(i) to characterize albatross use of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS), a famous albatross hotspot off central California
(ii) to provide needed information on albatross habitats and movements within the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (E.E.Z.)
(iii) to enhance the understanding of the foraging grounds and the movements of this threatened species across the North Pacific Ocean
(iv) to assess the overlap of post-breeding albatrosses with North Pacific pelagic longline fisheries operating within their foraging range