Mass strandings of seabirds occur frequently on many beaches worldwide and commonly involve penguins, petrels, shearwaters, and prions, among others. Large numbers of stranded albatrosses are rarely reported. In this paper, an unusual stranding event that involved five species of Procellariiformes, predominantly the Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche chlororhynchos), is described in southern Brazil. Carcasses and debilitated specimens of Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatrosses (n = 125), unidentified petrels/shearwaters (Procellariidae; n = 63), White-chinned Petrels (Procellaria aequinoctialis; n = 52), Great Shearwaters (Puffinus gravis; n = 11), Manx Shearwaters (Puffinus puffinus; n = 4) and Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris borealis; n = 1) were found stranded between 15 and 22 March 2013. Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatrosses (n = 20) and White-chinned Petrel (n = 1) were found alive and remained in the rehabilitation center for a few days before being released. A total of at least 256 birds were affected during the 8 days of the event, but a larger number likely remained undetected. Rescued Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatrosses were not emaciated, and the causes of their stranding remain unknown. Equal or greater numbers of stranded petrels had been recorded previously in the area, but strandings of a large number of albatrosses are unusual in southern Brazil and elsewhere.
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Vol. 37 • No. 4