Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

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Read about recent developments and findings in procellariiform science and conservation relevant to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels in ACAP Latest News.

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Humane Society International Australia is a World Albatross Day supporter

Humane Society International (HSI) is a national and international conservation and animal protection NGO that specialises in the application of domestic and international environment law. Established in Australia in 1994, HSI works to change government conservation and animal protection policies and law for the better, while striving to enforce the effective implementation of those laws.  Its mission is to build an ecologically sustainable and humane world for all animals.

HSI logo

HSI Australia has been involved in the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels since its inception and has regularly attended meetings as an observer in recent years. HSI’s Seabird Consultant Nigel Brothers serves as a member of ACAP’s Seabird Bycatch Working Group, to which he contributes his extensive (and pioneering) knowledge on albatross mortality from interactions with fisheries.

With the close links already existing between ACAP and HSI Australia, ACAP Latest News has been in contact to gain support for the inauguration of World Albatross Day next year on 19 June.  The day intends to increase awareness of the continuing conservation crisis faced by the world’s albatrosses and petrels.  In response senior members of HSI Australia have contributed their views on World Albatross Day:

Erica Martin HSI shrunk

Chief Executive Erica Martin writes: “The iconic albatross has long been a focus of HSI’s campaign efforts and so we are proud to support every effort to give them the attention they deserve.  World Albatross Day is an opportunity to remind the world of the plight of the albatross and help drive even greater conservation efforts.”

 

 

 

 

 

Nicola Beynon HSI shrunk

HSI’s Head of Campaigns Nicola Beynon (who contributed as a member of Australia’s Delegation to meetings that negotiated the Agreement) states her view: “When we negotiated the Agreement we were so optimistic that it would bring about the change we need to turn albatross conservation around but we always knew that it would take cooperation from our colleagues in fisheries agencies.  It saddens me that, while we have achieved good cooperation in some countries, we still don’t have that cooperation working well all around the world and albatross continue to die in terrifying numbers.”

 

 

 

 

Alexia Wellbelove HSI shrunk

HSI’s Senior Campaign Manager Alexia Wellbelove (who is a member of ACAP’s Intersessional World Albatross Day Working Group) says: “Whilst the challenges facing albatrosses are immense, we continue to be inspired by the individuals working tirelessly to protect them.  We hope that the ACAP-declared conservation crisis and the newly declared World Albatross Day will advance even greater efforts to ensure fishing nations urgently implement conservation measures, reduce bycatch and ultimately ensure these majestic birds are protected.”

 

 

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Nigel Brothers adds his opinion: “Nobody wants to kill a magnificent 50-year old albatross and yet hundreds are killed every day just to put fish on your plate.  Support World Albatross Day and help end this conservation crisis!”

Nigel Brothers Waved Alb sat transmitter shrunk

Nigel Brothers releases a Waved Albatross Phoebastria irrorata bearing a back-mounted satellite tracker (with its aerial visible) in Peruvian waters

ACAP looks forward to a continuing association with Humane Society International Australia as World Albatross Day approaches.

With thanks to Alexia Wellbelove.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 23 December 2019


 

Mexico’s Natividad Island gets a visit by two Laysan Albatrosses

Yuri Albores-Barajas (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur: La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico) and colleagues have published a note in the journal Oryx on their observations of two Near Threatened Laysan Albatrosses Phoebastria immutabilis (one banded as a chick on Hawaiian island of Oahu in 2010) visiting Natividad Island for a two-month period in 2019.

Laysan Albatross by James Lloyd 

A Laysan Albatross broods its chick on a Hawaiian island, photograph by James Lloyd

Note the short note does not seem to make it clear whether both, or only the banded bird, was seen ashore, or, indeed, that they acted as a pair.

Reference:

Albores-Barajas, Y.V., Soldatini, C., Bambini, G. & Favilli, E. 2020.  One swallow does not make a summer, but could a Laysan albatross pair make a colony at Natividad Island, Mexico?  Oryx 54(1), 13-14. doi:10.1017/S0030605319001121.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 22 December 2019

Volunteers required to help rid Midway Atoll of its House Mice that attack Laysan Albatrosses

The USFWS Pacific Region is seeking volunteers for six months at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge from April to November 2020.  Volunteer work includes invasive plant and rodent removal using manual and chemical applications of pesticides, native plant propagation, seed collection and processing, seabird and Laysan Duck monitoring, marine debris removal, data entry and proofing and equipment maintenance.

 Laysan Midway mouse kills

House Mice attacks on Midway's Layan Albatrosses

“Ideal candidates will possess strong interpersonal skills, able to work well independently as well as closely in a small group, easy-going with a good sense of humor, flexible to changing conditions, boating, kayaking, and snorkel experience.”

Applications are due by 5 January 2020 to Tim Clark at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..

Read more details of job description, requirements and how to apply here.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 21 December 2019

New Zealand’s Southern Seabird Solutions Trust writes about World Albatross Day, 2020

The inaugural World Albatross Day (WAD 2020) will be held on 19 June next year to help raise awareness of the continuing conservation crisis facing the world’s albatrosses and petrels.  The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) has been reaching out to conservation bodies in countries that support albatross breeding populations to enlist their support for the day.  The latest NGO to respond is the New Zealand-based Southern Seabird Solutions Trust (SSST).

The charitable trust, an alliance since 2002 between government, environmental and seafood industry organisations, works with commercial and recreational fishers, associated agencies and industry to reduce harm to New Zealand seabirds from fishing in both domestic and international waters.  “We deliver projects that contribute to reducing the effects of fishing on seabirds in fisheries in the Southern Hemisphere” (click here).

SSST

The SSST’s Management Committee has written to ACAP Latest News:

“Many New Zealanders are fortunate to be able to earn their living, or spend their leisure time, on the water amongst the world’s most incredible diversity of seabirds.  Bird enthusiasts dream of visiting our shores.  With this privilege comes a responsibility for all New Zealanders.  We aspire to take care of these birds and ensure they thrive; and to lead the way to help other countries follow suit, as well as learn from them.  We are very pleased to support World Albatross Day as a way of connecting the global community to these special creatures.”

The founder and Convenor of the Trust, and member of its Management Committee, is Janice Molloy, who has been active in working to reduce seabird bycatch in especially longline fisheries since the early days late last century when news of albatrosses drowning on hooks first reached the international stage.  Janice (then with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation) and I attended and contributed to meetings of CCAMLR’s then Ad Hoc Working Group on Incidental Mortality Arising from Longline Fishing (WG-IMALF) in the mid 1990s and met again in Tokyo, Japan as members of a technical working group to finalize the text of FAO’s International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries (IPOA-Seabirds) in 1998.

Since then Janice and the SSST have continued to work towards reducing seabird bycatch in varied ways.  Most recently the Trust is helping address the high levels of at-sea mortality that are causing a drastic population decline of the nominate subspecies of the Endangered Antipodean Albatross Diomedea antipodensis that breeds only on New Zealand’s Antipodes Island – but forages on the High Seas in the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea outside the breeding season (click here).  The SSST is partnering with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, two Olympic gold and silver medallists and world sailing champions, to raise funds for GPS trackers to follow Antipodean Albatrosses at sea.  Peter and Blair have recently established a marine conservation foundation called the Live Ocean Charitable Trust and this is their first project.  At its 10th Meeting held in New Zealand in 2017 ACAP’s Advisory Committee endorsed the inclusion of Antipodean Albatrosses breeding on Antipodes Island as a Priority Population for conservation management.

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An Antipodean Albatross pair on Antipodes Island, photograph by Erica Sommer

With thanks to Janice Molloy.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 20 December 2019

ACAP Executive Secretary Christine Bogle graduates with a PhD from New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington

This month ACAP Executive Secretary, Christine Bogle, travelled from Hobart in Tasmania, where the ACAP Secretariat is housed, to her home country of New Zealand to attend an important event: her graduation as a Doctor of Philosophy on 11 December!  Back in July Christine completed revision of her PhD thesis entitled “Democratisation in Asia-Pacific Monarchies: Drivers and Impediments” and submitted it to the Victoria University of Wellington’s deposit library.  However, she was asked not to use her new title until this month’s graduation ceremony when the degree was officially conferred.

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Dr Christine Bogle with two of her three sons, Toby (left) and Thomas (right) after graduation

Last week Christine e-mailed ACAP Latest News: “We had the graduation ceremony on Wednesday evening and then on Thursday there was a parade through town by all the graduates.  Good weather throughout.  Tonight I am going to have a party!  On Sunday I will fly back to Hobart.”

Christine commenced  research towards her PhD in Political Science in the university’s School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations in 2014.  Previously she had an over 30-year career as a diplomat with New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

Back in August Christine travelled to Nukuʻalofa in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific where she was the New Zealand High Commissioner from 2008 to 2010.  There she gave an invited lecture on her completed thesis that looked at the monarchies of Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand and Tonga (click here).

An electronic version of Christine’s PhD’s thesis is available from the VUW Library’s Research Archive.  Click here for the thesis abstract.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 19 December 2019

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