Magazine article Endangered Species Update

Spectacular Falkland Islands with Vast Penguin and Albatross Colonies Given to WCS. (News from Zoos)

Magazine article Endangered Species Update

Spectacular Falkland Islands with Vast Penguin and Albatross Colonies Given to WCS. (News from Zoos)

Article excerpt

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which operates several AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums in the New York City area, announced on March 5, 2002 that New York philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, a member of the WCS Board of Trustees, had donated two spectacular, uninhabited islands in the south Atlantic to the Society. The islands, part of the Falklands archipelago, are home to huge numbers of penguins, albatrosses, and other rare wildlife.

Called Steeple Jason and Grand Jason, the islands lie about 250 miles east of Argentina on the edge of the continental shelf. They support not only large populations of penguins (rockhopper, gentoo, Magellanic) and black-browed albatrosses, but also Southern giant petrel, Falklands skua, and one of the world's rarest birds-of-prey, the "johnny rook" (a.k.a. striated caracara).

Steeple Jason Island is over five miles long and nearly a mile across at its widest point. Grand Jason Island is nearly seven miles long and approximately two miles across. They are among the westernmost islands in the Falklands chain. Steeple Jason's nesting population of more than 150,000 pairs of black-browed albatrosses is considered the largest in the world.

Working in conjunction with the Falkland Islands' government and Falklands Conservation, a local environmental organization, WCS plans to construct a research station on one of the islands to gain a better understanding of the native animal species. …

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