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Laysan Albatross (Moli) with visible head wound. Photo credit: USFWS | by USFWS Pacific
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Laysan Albatross (Moli) with visible head wound. Photo credit: USFWS

Mice are preying on nesting albatross on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and the Battle of Midway National Monument, part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.


Though mice have been on Midway Atoll for decades, they have only recently been observed preying on albatross.


In just a few years, mice preying on albatross have increased from just a few incidents to widespread instances of mice biting albatross while they nest, resulting in injury, nest abandonment, and death.


Over three million birds, encompassing 25 different species, nest on Midway Atoll’s three islands and all of them are susceptible to predation by mice.


Midway Atoll is home to the largest albatross colony in the world and is the most important and successful breeding ground for black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) and Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis). Globally significant, Midway supports 36 percent of all Black-footed albatross and over 70 percent of all Laysan albatross.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with partners to develop a long-term plan address the increasing threat of these invasive predators to seabirds on Midway Atoll.


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Taken on January 26, 2016