Skip to content

Albatrosses divorcing more often because of climate change

  • by
Black-browed albatross

The albatross is known for its high fidelity in relation to their “marriages”. They stick around. They don’t give up like humans. But things are changing because of climate change.

Black-browed albatross

Black-browed albatross. Photo: Pixabay

Breeding pairs of albatrosses are capable of bonding for decades. However, a study has demonstrated that the rate of albatross divorce rises significantly after breeding seasons that coincide with abnormally high sea surface temperatures.

The research study looked at the black-browed albatross a.k.a. ‘mollymawks’. The scientists focused on five sub-colonies of thousands of pairs which congregate on the Falkland Islands annually.

Since 2003 the average annual rate of divorce had been 3.7%. It varied between 0.8%-7.7%. In the years when the temperatures were unusually high divorce rates increased significantly. It is suggested that the reason is that it is harder to raise chicks because marine heatwaves are linked to food scarcity.

Franco Ventura, the lead author of the study, from Lisbon University, said: “Environmentally driven divorce may represent an overlooked consequence of global [climate] change”.

The study is published on Proceedings of the Royal Society B. One of the keys to whether a pair stick together is their success in reproduction. The study found that albatrosses were about five times more likely to divorce after breeding failures.

My thanks to The Times newspaper report.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Man hunts mud fish

Video of man catching mud fish will fascinate and horrify equally

For me, this video is frankly disgusting. I hate it and can barely bring myself to watch it. It is ...
Read More
SaxaVord Spaceport what it might look like

Spaceport operator on Unst digs soundproof holes for otters

This is a nice example of improved wildlife conservation in the UK, something which always pleases me. SaxaVord Spaceport, are ...
Read More
Humpback whale ingests massive amounts of plastic inside prey animals

10 million pieces of plastic ingested DAILY by whales

A study concluded that the oceans pose a greater risk to the health of the world's largest creatures than was ...
Read More
Busted fishing cheats

Cheating at fishing is off the scale

I have a strong feeling that cheating in fishing competitions is off the scale because there are some quite nice ...
Read More