Albatrosses Seen Increasing on Senkakus


Tokyo, March 31 (Jiji Press)--Satellite imagery has suggested that the number of endangered albatrosses may be increasing on one of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Japan's Environment Ministry said Tuesday.

The imagery taken in November showed some 110-140 pairs of albatrosses on Minamikojima, up from some 50 pairs found in an on-site inspection in 2002, the ministry said.

The ministry's first survey on albatrosses on the Senkakus using satellite imagery covered Minamikojima and Kitakojima. Albatrosses had previously been confirmed on both of the islands.

The ministry will conduct a similar survey on Kitakojima in the next fiscal year starting in April, as the island was covered with clouds in the November imagery.

Albatrosses are distributed widely across the North Pacific, but their breeding areas are limited to the Senkakus, the Izu island chain and other remote islands off Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press