The study revealed that more breeding pairs were “divorcing,” which involves one albatross cheating on the other. This is unusual since albatross relationships are usually very loyal and firm, sticking to one partner for life. Only 1% of albatross couples end up splitting, which just shows, how loyal these creatures really are.
This divorce rate has recently moved up to 8%, leading specialists to look at climate change and how it may be impacting albatross pairs. One suspicion is that the heated temperatures are causing albatrosses to hunt for longer periods of time, leading to one albatross moving on to a different mate in the meantime. It could also be linked to higher stress hormones that go up when they have to live in a harsher environment.
Many albatross populations are struggling to breed properly, as their higher divorce rates are causing a disruption in the breeding season. This is not a dire issue at the moment, but very well could be in the future – especially as global temperatures rise higher and higher.
This is just one more side effect of climate change that should be getting our attention and sparking more change.
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