At latest report, we know that tens of thousands of Laysan Albatrosses and large numbers of Black Footed Albatross were killed on Midway. A high percentage of the world population nests there and even though waves reached no more than about 5 feet above normal, over one half of low lying Eastern Island was swamped by the surge of tsunami waves.
A bright spot in all of this was the survival of the Short Tailed Albatross Chick who had already been washed from its cup nest once before!!!!!!! And, we have heard that Wisdom, the Sixty Year Old Albatross (Laysan) and her chick also survived. She nest on Sand Island where the approximately 65 humans reside and found themselves just fine after the waves washed over much of the runway and lower lying areas of the island............Not to say there is any "highland" to be found...........USFWS staff and volunteers were busy and continue to rescue and monitor. Our Friend and supporter of SOAR, John Klavitter is on island and as soon as it seems right to get in touch, I will post a comment from John.
I do know that he has made comments about the Black Footed Albatrosses on Midway. They nest closer to the ocean, generally, than Laysans. And so, they were hit harder.
I remember so well being on Midway when the chicks of both species were testing their wings. I thought at that time that the greatest threats they faced were from humans who toss plastics into the sea..........and now this natural event the birds have evolved with for centuries, adapting to the rise of seas. Wisdom chose her nesting place long ago. She survived this tsunami and so will many hundreds of others. We might mourn the losses as is our kind way of thinking about all species..............and yet, survival is what brings hope. If a Sixty Year Old Albatross can raise a Chick out in the middle of the Pacific, life goes on......and if a Short Tailed Albatross ----- ONE ONLY thousands of miles from any of us ----------can survive this historic tsunami......Then surely, life goes on.
Please give to a Japanese relief organization of your choosing and remember the Albatrosses and other seabirds, sea turtles, monk seals, and wildlife of the ocean who can not survive without human help.
To learn more about the fate of all Pacific Albatrosses and other seabirds, visit http://www.acap.aq/ and follow the Friends of Albatross Midway (FOAM) site of good friend, Barb Mayer....