Michelle Risi and Christopher Jones are spending their third full year as field researchers on the UK’s Gough Island in the South Atlantic. There they continue to work for the Gough Island Restoration Programme managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Much of their fieldwork concentrates on the long-term monitoring* of three threatened species of ACAP-listed albatrosses that are at risk to attacks by introduced House Mice Mus musculus. These species are the Critically Endangered Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena, Endangered Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos and the Endangered Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca.
In the first half of 2019 Michelle suggested to ACAP’s Information Officer that a World Albatross Day should be instituted to increase awareness of the conservation plight that the world’s 22 species of albatrosses face. ACAP took up this challenge, and the first World Albatross Day will be marked globally next month on 19 June.
Michelle Risi, Chris Jones and fellow team member Alexis Osborne (centre) with their World Albatross Day banner on Gough Island next to a Tristan Albatross chick
Michelle Risi has contributed further to ACAP’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of ‘WAD2020’ by designing a series of free downloadable posters from her own photographs of albatrosses taken on Gough and on South Africa’s Marion Island – where she has also spent time conducting field work. Along with long-term field team partner, Chris Jones, she has now produced this video for ACAP, for which the Agreement is most grateful.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 22 May 2020
*Established by ACAP’s Information Officer in his field-work days around 25 years ago.