Climate – “Divorces” on the rise among albatrosses due to global warming

Climate – “Divorces” on the rise among albatrosses due to global warming
Climate – “Divorces” on the rise among albatrosses due to global warming

Posted25 November 2021, 18:36

Separations double in these seabirds when the ocean surface warms.

Albatrosses usually do not separate until after breeding failures.


Usually monogamous and faithful, albatrosses are increasingly separating because of warming oceans, according to a study. The rate of «divorce» among these seabirds was on average less than 4%. It doubles to almost 8% when the oceans are warmer, according to research published on Wednesday in review “Proceedings of the Royal Society B».

The researchers explained that more than 90% of bird species are monogamous. They usually only separate after breeding failures: the female leaves her mate to find another. Now these «divorces» additional could hamper their ability to successfully raise their offspring, according to the study.

To reach their conclusions, scientists analyzed data collected from 2004 to 2019 from a large colony ofablack-browed lbatross living on New Island, an island in the Falklands archipelago. The rate of separation peaked in 2017, at 7.7%, when ocean waters were warmest. Then the temperature dropped and the «divorces» also.

Only one egg possible

According to the study, the warming of the waters actually leads to a decrease in the reproduction rate, which leads to separations. The explanation? Warmer surface water would affect the availability of prey for albatrosses, which would have more difficulty feeding and would therefore have less time for reproduction, explains «The Independent». Or ceach female albatross does nothad pOndre qu’a single egg through breeding season.

«C’is particularly worrying, as the warming of the oceans is the’one of the observed and predicted consequences of climate change, also in the’Southern Ocean, home to our population of’albatross, ”commented one of the authors, Francesco Ventura, a biologist at l’University of Lisbon.



Climate Divorces rise among albatrosses due global warming

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