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Oldest known mother albatross survives tsunami

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:31 p.m. HST, Mar 22, 2011

The albatross Wisdom, who is more than 60 years old, is alive and has returned to Midway Atoll, dispelling fears she might have been killed in the March 10-11 tsunami, the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex said Monday.

In the face of tremendous losses, including an estimated 110,000 chicks and 2,000 adult albatrosses killed, biologists are thrilled that Wisdom has survived, said Barry Stieg litz, the complex's proj ect leader.

Stieglitz said Wisdom's survival reinforces the importance of breeding adults in the population.

Wisdom is still producing chicks.

"It's very humbling to know this 8-pound bird has been producing chicks longer than I have been alive," Stieg litz said.

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