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Navy, conservationists move Kauai Laysan albatross eggs to Kaena Point

  • COURTESY DLNR

    Team members from Pacific Rim Conservation translocated a Layson albatross egg from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai in this undated photo.

  • COURTESY DLNR

    Team members from Pacific Rim Conservation checked Layson albatross eggs for the presence of live embryos in this undated photo.

Wildlife conservationists and the Navy have transferred over 20 Laysan albatross eggs to Oahu from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai to reduce the risk of potential bird strike hazards of the federally protected species.

A Navy aircraft recently transported 21 eggs to the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve in a foam-padded cooler that also functions as an incubator, said Dr. Eric Vanderwerf, board president of the Pacific Rim Conservation.

The eggs are from a Laysan albatross nesting colony located close to the missile range facility’s runway. The species have been nesting at the base since the 1980s, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Navy’s goal is to fully relocate the colony to safer areas.

Vanderwerf said Laysan albatross birds at Kaena Point will serve as surrogate parents for the eggs which will hatch in two months.

Hundreds of eggs from the nesting colony at the missile range facility have been translocated, a majority of which to private properties on Kauai over the past 12 years.

The eggs were transferred to Kaena Point because of the lack of foster nest areas on the island.

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