Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:

Izu, Torishima, Japan  

A column of white smoke rises from a crater of Mt. Iwo on Torishima (Tori Island) in the Pacific Ocean on Monday, Aug. 12, 2002. 
 AP Photo/Japan Coast Guard
(Foto:Japanese Coast Guard)

The Izu-volcano on Tori-shima is one of a chain of small islands about 600 km south of Tokyo. The island is one for
the threatened albatross-birds, namely the short tailed albatross, and have been uninhabited by people since the Meteorological Institute drew back their scientists from an observatory in 1965, after a strong earthquake hit the area.
About 30 people lived on the island before that, but they were evacuated after an eruption in 1939. In 1902 an eruption killed all the 125 people living on the island at that time.


© Mainichi Shimbun / The Suntory Fund for Bird Preservation

Short-tailed Albatross

In the Japanese language the albatross is known as ahohdori. Ahoh means "stupid" and dori means bird, so ahohdori literally means stupid-bird.

It seems the reason for this rather disgraceful name is related to the circumstances surrounding its near extinction. At the end of 19th century people moved from Hachijo Island, located almost 300Km south of Tokyo, to Trishima Island, about 300Km further south. There they killed Short-tailed Albatross Diomedea albatrus in large numbers, and used their feathers to stuff quilts. The bird was apparently named ahohdori because it didn't fly away, even when confronted by the sight of its fellow birds being killed. (not active Sept. 2010))

Status of the Short-tailed Albatross ( Diomedea albatrus ) and Its Conservation and Breeding ProjectSeptember 22, 2006

The Ministry of the Environment is pleased to announce that it has succeeded in relocating a colony of Short-tailed Albatross - 13 chicks were identified at a new breeding site at Hatsunezaki on Torishima Island during its monitoring conducted in February 2006. On the entire Torishima Island, Toho University's monitoring in April 2006 observed the fledging of 195 chicks, the largest number since the university's monitoring began. The total population of the Short-tailed Albatross at present in Torishima Island is estimated around 1,830.

A project to guide Short-tailed Albatross to form new colonies in the Ogasawara Islands was launched this year. Mukojima Island, part of the Ogasawara Islands, was selected as their new breeding site. This year, the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology, with the cooperation of the U.S. Government, plans to conduct an experiment in which they translocate chicks of the Black-footed Albatross, a relative species to the Short-tailed Albatross, to Mukojima Island from other islands of the Mukojima Archipelago and raise them to fledge.

April 7th, 2008: working on the following, copyright is on the article. We will use part of it, and
may ask for permission if more that a brief quote.

New home found for albatrosses
Yomiuri Shimbun
A team of Japanese and U.S. researchers promoting the protection of
the albatross, an endangered seabird, has selected the Ogasawara
Islands as a potential new breeding ground for the birds.
Currently, Torishima in the Izu Islands is the nation's largest breeding
ground for albatrosses, but the team fears the site could be threatened
by a volcanic eruption.
The albatrosses migrate between Torishima and Alaska and have been
officially designated an endangered species by the U.S. government,
which is drawing up a plan for the conservation of the species.
Japanese researchers have joined the movement as well, last year
setting up the Japan-U.S. albatross recovery team.
The team met in Chiba Prefecture for four days beginning Tuesday to
discuss volcano-free islands that would be potential new habitats for
the birds.
The Ogasawara Islands are under Tokyo's jurisdiction and are located
about 300 kilometers south of Torishima. Albatrosses nested there until
the 1930s.
But persuading the birds to return could be difficult. Since it is not easy
to transfer chicks from one breeding ground to another, the team is
researching ways to get the birds to switch islands of their own accord.
This could include increasing albatross numbers on Torishima until
overcrowding prompts the birds to seek a new home.
The team plans to submit its proposal to the U.S. government as early
as the beginning of 2005 after listening to the opinions of other
Existing albatross conservation efforts have been fruitful, with an
estimated 1,655 birds on Torishima as of April.
But after an eruption in August 2002, the team decided it was essential
to find an alternative location for the bird sanctuary.
Copyright 2004 The Yomiuri Shimbun



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