• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Short-tailed Albatross (1 Viewer)

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Eda, Koike, Kuro-o, Mihara, Hasegawa & Higuchi (in press). Inferring the ancient population structure of the vulnerable albatross Phoebastria albatrus, combining ancient DNA, stable isotope, and morphometric analyses of archaeological samples. Conserv Genet. [abstract]
 

TonyPym

Member
Thanks for this reference Richard.

The abstract is a little unclear. It says the genetic distance between ancient populations, in the two populations (Torishima and Senkaku), are greater than in sister taxa, then says that current populations are descended from these ancient ones. But, how 'ancient', and do they give distance between the current populations? It could be read in the summary that there is a case for a split in the Short-tailed Albatross, and with only some 100-150 birds on Minamijimi, Senkaku Islands, this would make it one of the most endangered species on the planet.

If anyone has access to the full article I would appreciate knowing more - if I have understood this correctly? Many thanks, in advance!
 

TonyPym

Member
Are there two species of Short-tailed Albatross?

I have now a copy of this interesting paper.

The authors have analysed the DNA (plus stable isotope ratios) of 1000 year-old bones of Short-tailed Albatross, finding two distinct clades, suggesting the ‘Short-tailed Albatross’ existed in two distinct populations. The genetic distance between them though was found to be greater than that of other sister albatross species. The authors suggest that birds at the present two breeding sites are descended from these two ancient populations, and that a re-evaluation of the status and conservation strategy for the species is required.

It was known that very few of these albatrosses survived the slaughter for their feathers, and that by the mid 20th century only some 50 birds in total were left (all believed at Torishima), but the article now puts forward that a very small population were overlooked, on the Senkaku Islands. So, descendants of each population seem to have survived at both locations. There is no evidence of any emigration from Torishima to the Senkaku Islands which now has some 500 birds (a correction from my previous post) - for example, nearly all Torishima birds have been fitted with metal leg bands as chicks since 1979, and no banded birds have been observed on the Senkaku Islands, in various years of the 1980’s, 1990’s, 2001/2. Unfortunately, no surveys can take place at the present time due to territorial disputes between China, Taiwan and Japan.

The sequence diversion between these two clades, two populations, is an amazing 11.5%. Consider, for example, 2.9% between Salvin’s and Chatham Albatrosses, or 7.2% between Black-browed and Campbell Albatrosses.

The authors do not introduce ‘the species argument’ but, on the above, there does seem to be a case for splitting the Short-tailed Albatross; the Torishima and Senkaku birds. More work is needed on the Senkaku birds (on the islands and within the museum collections) as I do not think any study has yet been made on further morphology of the two, so this may be yet another cryptic species.
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
John Penhallurick's World Bird Info indicates the potential availability of other names, but unfortunately none seem to be directly associated with either Torishima or the Senkaku Is.
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Deguchi et al

Deguchi, Jacobs, Harada, Perriman, Watanabe, Sato, Nakamura, Ozaki & Balogh (in press). Translocation and hand-rearing techniques for establishing a colony of threatened albatross. Bird Conserv Int. [summary]

PS. Free access to Eda et al until 31 Dec 2011: pdf
 
Last edited:

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Eda & Higuchi

Eda & Higuchi 2012. Does the Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus consist of two species!? Jpn J Ornithol 61(2): 263–272. [abstract]
 

l_raty

laurent raty
Kuro-o et al. 2010

(Just trying to complete the picture with a couple of slightly older refs.)

Kuro-o, Yonekawa, Saito, Eda, Higuchi, Koike, Hasegawa. 2010. Unexpectedly high genetic diversity of mtDNA control region through severe bottleneck in vulnerable albatross Phoebastria albatrus. Conserv Genet 11: 127–137. DOI 10.1007/s10592-009-0011-1.

(Free access from Springer until the end of Nov 2012.)
 

l_raty

laurent raty
Eda et al. 2010

Eda, Kuro-o, Higuchi, Hasegawa, Koike. 2010. Mosaic gene conversion after a tandem duplication of mtDNA sequence in Diomedeidae (albatrosses). Genes Genet. Syst. 85: 129–139.

Free access.

(Not specifically about Short-tailed Albatross, but I think primordial to understand what is going on in these data.
Briefly:
Albatrosses have a duplicated mitochondrial control region (ie., there are two copies of the CR in their mtDNA molecule, usually labelled CR1 and CR2; see also Abbott et al. 2005 [abstract; can't find a free access to this one right now], or for similar cases in other bird groups, Eberhard et al. 2001 [free access; Amazona parrots], Morris-Pocock et al 2010 [free access; Sula boobies]).
In Phoebastria, some parts of these two copies appear to evolve in concert, but other [large] parts evolve independently. The parts that evolve independently, do so decidely faster in the CR2 than in the CR1. This suggests evolutionary constraints act on the CR1, but have been at least partly released on the CR2. It follows that CR2 distances observed in this genus should probably not be compared to CR distances observed in other birds that have only one CR copy, nor to CR distances observed in birds with two CR copies that evolve entirely in concert.
The 11.5% figure quoted above by Tony Pim is a CR2 distance. The very high value is at least partly due to a faster-than-usual evolution in this CR copy. The cytochrome-b distance between the two clades is less than 1%.)
 

l_raty

laurent raty
currently having problems with that link, but these work for me...
From here I get redirected to this with both. (This is also where the DOI link takes me.) Springer is in the process of setting up an entirely new website, which must be the origin of the problem.
 
Last edited:

Richard Klim

-------------------------
From here I get redirected to this with both. (This is also where the DOI link takes me.) Springer is in the process of setting up an entirely new website, which must be the origin of the problem.
OK, I've just deleted SpringerLink cookies - now all three links work as expected. I had similar problems with Springer/cookies a couple of years ago...
 
Last edited:

l_raty

laurent raty
Eda, Izumi, Konno, Konno, Sato. [in press.] Assortative mating in two populations of Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus on Torishima. Ibis.
[abstract]
 

Jim LeNomenclatoriste

Taxonomy and zoological nomenclature
France
The Senkaku Islands species should be called Ph. brachyura Temminck 1828 which he called chinensis in 1820 or P. derogata Swinhoe 1873 from Yantai China.
https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/28504393#page/952/mode/1up .
The Torishima birds are Ph. albatrus collected by Stellar in Kamchatka.
https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/88609#page/218/mode/1up .

If the split is accepted and the name fixed, brachyura would become the real "short-tailed". What would be the other name for albatrus ?

In French, that would give (?) :
Phoebastria albatrus – Albatros de Steller

Phoebastria brachyura – Albatros à queue courte

🤷
 
Last edited:

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
The obvious names in English would be Senkaku Albatross and Torishima Albatross . . . I'll let you guess which breeds on which island 😂
 

jurek

Well-known member
Sounds very weird, because the species was reduced to literally handful of individuals because of hunting.

I also guess that 'assortative pairing' may be an artifact of immigrating birds being younger, or one island being less suitable habitat, to which lower-quality birds are permanently pushed out.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top