UPSC Current Affairs




NEWS: A Rare flight of Antarctic’s Light-mantled Albatross to  T.N. intrigues researchers.

Rameswaram and adjoining islets of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park on the Adam’s Bridge (Ram Setu)- Asia’s first sighting of Light-mantled Albatross – species native to the Antarctic seas.

The location where the Albatross was spotted is part of the Palk Bay and near the Gulf of Mannar.

  • Directs researchers to look for bird migration away from the well-known and established routes and sites.
  • Change in atmospheric pressure could have been among the reasons for the Albatross to land on an Indian shore.
  • Birds like albatross, that are known to be on the move, use the wind and save their energy during flights.
  • Even slight changes in the temperature can cause drastic changes in the wind pattern and birds could land in faraway places that are not familiar to them.Albatross1
Light-Mantled Albatross

IUCN status: Near Threatened

Scientific Name: Phoebetria palpebrate.

Also known as Grey-mantled albatross.



  • Ash coloured with darker areas around the head and lighter areas across the back and wingtips.
  • Distinctive white stripe immediately above the eye.With broad pelagic habits, maintains a circumpolar distribution in the Southern Ocean                                                
  • Breeds on : several sub-Antarctic islands- Macquarie Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands (Australia), South Georgia Island etc.
  • Worldwide population – 21,600 breeding pairs, according to an estimate in 1998.
  • Except when breeding, its habitat is entirely marine and it will forage from the edges of the Antarctic pack-ice to about 40°S.

Model Queston

Q. With reference to Light Mantled Albatross, a species which was discovered recently from India, consider the following statements:

  1. These species are native to Africa region.
  2. IUCN status accorded to this species is “Near Threatened”.
  3. These species are abundant in almost all Asian countries.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only (b) 2 only (c) 1 and 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

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