SPECIES: Sula dactylatra tasmani — Masked Booby (Lord Howe Island)
CLASSIFICATION: Vulnerable (NSW)
Yes, we know, it's Tuesday. For the simple explanation that there are just so many endemic species of our new Lord Howe Island project to cover off, this week we also have #ThreatenedTuesday.
The Masked Booby is a large, white seabird, with a yellow bill, black tips on its flight feathers and a black mask across the face. A male Masked Booby will whistle, while a female honks. They are quite content to nest on a rough platform of trodden grass. Two eggs are laid by the female - of which only one will survive. The second chick is quite often killed by the first.
The Masked Booby is no exception to the list of seabirds that habitually call Lord Howe Island home for at least some part, if not all year round. Boobies - as seabirds, are quite widely distributed throughout tropical and subtropical seas. Lord Howe Island plays a cruicial role, as the breeding population on the Island is the most southerly breeding colony in the world. Although they may range widely for food, the birds will return to the Island to breed.
FAME has committed to guard the paradise of Lord Howe Island and the species endemic to the Island, of which the Lord Howe Island Woodhen is but one. Our project, in conjuction with the Lord Howe Island Board and the NSW Government will help increase the number and breeding success of a range of woodhens and seabirds endemic to Lord Howe Island. For more info or to make a donation, visit the project page of our website.
Photo: Jack Shick