Climate Change Is Driving Some Albatrosses to ‘Divorce,’ Study Finds

Albatrosses are among the most monogamous creatures on the planet. A study published last week by New Zealand's Royal Society says climate change may be driving more birds to divorce.

The study used 15 years of data to study the breeding of black-browed albatrosses on New Island. The researchers found that the divorce rate among the birds increased in years when the ocean was warm. It went up to 7.7 percent in savesay savesay savesay savesay went up to 7.7 percent in savesay savesay savesay went up to 7.7 percent in savesay savesay went up to 7.7 percent in savesay savesay savesay went up to 7.7 percent in savesay savesay savesay went up to 7.7 percent in savesay savesay savesay went up to

Albatross divorce is very rare. An inability to fleege a chick is the most common cause of permanent separation. In the years when the sea was warm, the albatrosses were more likely to struggle with fertility and divorce, a sign of a worrisome trend for seabird populations in general.

Mr. Ventura said that increased sea surface temperature led to an increase in divorce.

The models did not explain the rise in divorce rates after they factored in higher breeding failure in warmer years. Mr. Ventura said there is still something unexplained.

Large sea birds can be found in New Zealand and off the coast of Argentina. They are known for their long lives and expansive travels. They can live for a long time. The black-browed albatrosses take their name from the swooping, sooty brows that give them an expression of irritation.

Albatrosses in partnerships spend most of the year apart. The male arrives first on land, where he waits for his partner and tends to their nest.

According to an albatross expert at New Zealand, it is obvious that the birds love each other. You can kind of spot it after 30 to 40 years of watching albatrosses. They greet the long-lost mate, they love each other, and they are going to have a baby. It is wonderful.

Each breeding season, the birds return to the same partner. The pairs perform a dance of reunion that becomes more synchronized over time. Mr. Ventura said that they increase the quality of the performance with the years, first a bit awkward, and then as time goes by, they get better and better.

The image is.

A pair of albatrosses are courting. Climate change had affected the birds.

If birds arrive late for the breeding season or in poor health after having flown farther to find food, the stress of warmer seas may disrupt that delicate balance.

Mr. Ventura said that cooler waters are associated with more resource-rich conditions.

The researchers found that some albatrosses in the population ended successful unions and recoupled with another albatross. Females who have an easier time finding a new mate are the instigators of permanent separations.

Stressed females can look for a new mate even if their previous one is successful, because of the greater effort and higher breeding investment.

The New Zealand albatross expert said the study's finding doesn't surprise him. He said researchers have noticed demographic changes among birds as fish populations decline.

The number of albatrosses on the Antipodes Islands has declined by two-thirds over the past 15 years according to the New Zealand Department ofConservation.

Climate change is a factor, as female birds have traveled well off course in search of harder-to- find food, drawing them into deadly contact with fishing boats and leading to significant population imbalance.

He said that the decision-making of male albatrosses has been spurred by that. Male-male pairs now make up 2 percent to 5 percent of the bird population on the island.

The island has more males than females, according to Dr. Elliott. The males can't find a mate, and after a while, they decide other males are better than nothing.