A project of Albatross Conservation Collaborative.
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Species: Black-footed Albatross
Life Stage: class 2 plumage
Release Date: 2005-07-19 12:40:00
Release Location: Cordell Bank
Last Location: 2005-08-27 05:12:06
Cordell is named after a shallow bank located about 45 nautical miles northwest of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, at the edge of the central California continental shelf. This submerged island rises from the continental shelf (200 m deep) to within 120 feet (37 m) of the ocean surface. This bathymetric feature named after Edward Cordell, who explored the bank in 1868, was designated as a U.S. National Marine Sanctuary in 1989. Cordell Bank is an renowned albatross "hotspot", with records of five species: Black-footed, Laysan, Short-tailed, Shy, and Light-mantled Sooty. Black-footed Albatross commute from breeding colonies in Hawaii to this productive habitat during the chick-rearing period (February - June), and large numbers aggregate in this region during the early summer (July - August) post-breeding dispersal season.
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