Endangered seabird hatches at Midway Atoll

January 17, 2011 4:43:57 AM PST
Federal wildlife officials say an endangered seabird has hatched at Midway Atoll, the first time the species has done so outside Japan in recorded history.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a short-tailed albatross hatched Friday at Eastern Island, one of three small flat coral islands in Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge about 1,300 miles northwest of Honolulu.

Refuge staff and volunteers have been monitoring the bird's nest remotely with a video camera.

Until now, the short-tailed albatross has only been known to have reproduced at two sites: Torishima island in Japan and islands controlled by Tokyo and claimed by Beijing, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Feather hunting devastated the species at the turn of the 20th century.

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