Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Norway signs with ACAP - 1 June 2007

ACAP BOOSTED BY NORWAY’S ACCESSION TO THE AGREEMENT ON 1 JUNE 2007

On 5 March 2007 the Kingdom of Norway lodged an Instrument of Accession to the Agreement with the Depositary Government.  In accordance with Agreement Article XVI Paragraph 2, the Agreement entered into force for Norway on 1 June 2007.  This brings the number of countries who are Parties to ACAP to 11.

Significantly, Norway’s accession means that all breeding range states for ACAP-listed species are now Parties to ACAP, a situation that has come about in less than four years since the Agreement itself came into force on 1 February 2004.  The other breeding range states which are Parties to ACAP are Argentina, Australia, Chile, Ecuador, France, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, making nine in all with Norway. 

Norway is recognized as a breeding range state since the Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus, an ACAP-listed species, has been recorded breeding in small numbers on Bouvet Island (Bouvetøya), a Maritime Antarctic island in the Atlantic Sector of the Southern Ocean which became a Norwegian possession in 1928.  Although Southern Giant Petrels have only been recorded breeding on Bouvet in the short period from 1977 to 1981, the island has been little visited (there is no permanent station).  The fact that birds have been reported ashore up to at least 1999 means that breeding may still occur, although it appears that their recorded breeding site in the northern part of Westwindstranda (also known as Nyrøysa) is now overrun by Antarctic Fur Seals Arctocephalus gazella.  Seal numbers at Bouvet increased dramatically over the period 1989 to 1996, but are now reported as being stable. 

The 5000-ha Bouvet Island is situated at 54°S and is considered to be one of the remotest islands in the world: the nearest land is Gough Island, 1860 km away.  It has been a Nature Reserve proclaimed by Royal Resolution (equivalent to IUCN Category Ia, area managed mainly for science or wilderness protection) since December 1971. 

News from John Cooper, ACAP Honorary Information Officer

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