Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

The political biogeography of migratory marine predators, including Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses, in the Pacific

Autumn-Lynn Harrison (University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Long Marine Laboratory, California, USA) and colleagues have published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on an analysis of tracking data from 14 marine species in the Pacific Ocean, including the ACAP-listed Black-footed Phoebastria nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis Albatrosses, as well as Sooty Shearwaters Ardenna grisea.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“During their migrations, marine predators experience varying levels of protection and face many threats as they travel through multiple countries’ jurisdictions and across ocean basins. Some populations are declining rapidly. Contributing to such declines is a failure of some international agreements to ensure effective cooperation by the stakeholders responsible for managing species throughout their ranges, including in the high seas, a global commons. Here we use biologging data from marine predators to provide quantitative measures with great potential to inform local, national and international management efforts in the Pacific Ocean. We synthesized a large tracking data set to show how the movements and migratory phenology of 1,648 individuals representing 14 species—from leatherback turtles to white sharks—relate to the geopolitical boundaries of the Pacific Ocean throughout species’ annual cycles. Cumulatively, these species visited 86% of Pacific Ocean countries and some spent three-quarters of their annual cycles in the high seas. With our results, we offer answers to questions posed when designing international strategies for managing migratory species.”


Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses, photograph courtesy of the Kure Atoll Conservancy

Read more about the publication here and here.


Harrison, A.-L., Costa, D.P., Winship, A.J., Benson, S.R., Bograd, S.J., Antolos, M., Carlisle, A.B., Dewar, H., Dutton, P.H., Jorgensen, S.J., Kohin, S., Mate, B.R., Robinson, P.W., Schaefer, K.M., Shaffer, S.A., Shillinger, G.L., Simmons, S.E., Weng, K.C., Gjerde, K.C. & Block, B.A. 2018.  The political biogeography of migratory marine predators.  Nature Ecology & Evolution

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 12 September 2018