THE LITTLE ALBATROSS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
Once widely distributed across the whole Mediterranean sea, the Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) is
now an endangered species: among the many causes, the main one is the sharp decrease in numbers of pelagic fish,
its main foraging source. Since 2008 the Italian Ministry for the Environment assigned the researchers of the Italian
League for the Protection of Birds (LIPU) to locate the most important coastal and pelagic areas for this seabird
species in Italy. The field survey has been mainly conducted on Linosa, a tiny island between Sicily and Tunisia,
where one of the world’s largest colonies of this bird breeds among the lava rocks. GPS satellitar transmitters
have been placed on the rump of some individuals, allowing the constant locating of the birds' position on the open
sea. This allowed some ground-breaking discoveries.
These little mediterranean albatrosses are able to cover
hundreds of kilometres of open sea each day and up to 2,000Km before coming back to their nest -always in
complete darkness-, to feed their (single) chicks. Beside this, the great fascination for these animals doesn't
come out only because of their travelling skills, but also from their typical call, similar to the cry of a newborn
child, which impressed the ancient Greek so much that it gave the origin to the myth of the Sirens.