Kure Atoll seabird monitoring program was established in 2000. The monitoring program increases our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the nesting success and survival rates for the eighteen species that nest on Kure Atoll. Information gained from these studies is used to implement management actions to mitigate problems.

Green Island is divided by habitat type into 8 seabird sectors. The 8 seabird sectors are further divided into sub-sectors, which are consistent with the Restoration Area (RA) boundaries that are utilized for our Habitat Restoration Program

Annual Albatross Census

Bird Banding Program

Bird banding that is conducted are useful in both research and management projects.

Individual identification provides basic data for studies such as dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.

Cooperative Studies on Ocean Distribution Monitoring of Albatross

In spring 2013, the State of Hawaii in partnership with Oikonos, Hawaii Pacific University, and NOAA conducted a third-year study tracking adult black-footed albatross to document foraging hot spots and migration patterns.

The goal of this project was to enhance Black-Foot Albatross conservation by investing the at-sea distribution of birds from Kure Atoll. Kure was an ideal setting for this research because these birds are expected to forage in the Western North Pacific.

This migration differs from albatross breeding on Tern Island.  It is an area known to have a high volume of longlining and illegal driftnet fishing activity and can have important implications for effective international management of the species.

Equally important, the information from this study was critical for understanding the at-sea distribution overlayed with fishing that would allow for more informed management decisions for their nesting colonies.

Examine the oceanic distribution and population dynamics of the Laysan Albatross using geolocation telemetry and micro-satellite genetics.

This was a 2005 study conducted in collaboration between DOFAW and Lindsay Young (grad student, UH-Manoa). The research consisted of deploying 57 trackers on individual Laysan Albatross and were retrieved one year later in 2006.

The data recovered showed a genetically distinct population on Kure in comparison to the other Northwestern Hawaiian Island colonies.

It revealed the Kure colonies to be foraging across western Pacific areas—primarily off the Kuroshio extension by Japan.

This was a unique revelation as other research locations–Tern Island and Oahu—displayed a distribution closer to the Aleutian Island, an area North to Northeast of Kure.