Causes of mortality of albatross chicks at Midway Atoll

Journal of Wildlife Diseases
By: , and 



As part of an investigation of the effect of plastic ingestion on seabirds in Hawaii, we necropsied the carcasses of 137 Laysan albatross (Diomedea immutabilis) chicks from Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean during the summer of 1987. Selected tissues were collected for microbiological, parasitological, toxicological or histopathological examinations. Dehydration was the most common cause of death. Lead poisoning, trauma, emaciation (starvation) and trombidiosis were other causes of death; nonfatal nocardiosis and avian pox also were present. There was no evidence that ingested plastic caused mechanical lesions or mortality in 1987, but most of the chicks had considerably less plastic in them than chicks from earlier years. Human activity (lead poisoning and vehicular trauma) caused mortality at Midway Atoll and represented additive mortality for pre-fledgling albatrosses.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Causes of mortality of albatross chicks at Midway Atoll
Series title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
DOI 10.7589/0090-3558-26.3.329
Volume 26
Issue 3
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Disease Association
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 10 p.
First page 329
Last page 338
Country United States
Other Geospatial Midway Atoll
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details