The Black-browed albatross is a sea bird that can weigh up to 5kg and can have a wingspan up to 2,5m. Like many birds, Black-browed albatross are usually monogamous. If they find the “right fit” they can pair up for the entirety of their 70-year long life spans. However, not all relationships end “happily ever after” and these birds are not an exception.
“It’s over!” Reasons for break up between Albatrosses
There are about 54 000 pairs of Black-browed albatrosses on earth today and about 4% of these couples separate each year. Like with humans there are various reasons why they decide to leave their partner. For example, it could be poor compatibility, slacking of by one partner, or inability to raise young chicks. Falkland islands scientists research discovered a new surprising reason for divorce: climate change.
Global warming put extra pressure on albatrosses
With environmental changes and the rising temperature of oceans, is harder for albatrosses to find food. It takes more time and they can get more likely injured or killed while on the hunt. This can turn out in failure of raising chicks. The result is that birds can mistakenly blame their partner for the hard time they have with the young. It might mean that they decide to try their luck with someone, who they think would be more productive than a previous partner.
The Black-browed albatross is considered endangered these days. If the climate crisis continues to cause premature albatross divorces, the future generation of these animals can be in danger.
Photo credit: Lusk Michael, USFWS on Pixnio, Klavitter John, USFWS on Pixnio