Black-footed Albatross by Eric Vanderwerf and Laysan Albatross by Laurie Smaglick Johnson
The Albatross and Petrel Agreement has chosen the theme “Climate Change” to mark the third World Albatross Day, to be celebrated on 19 June 2022. This follows the inaugural theme “Eradicating Island Pests” in 2020 and “Ensuring Albatross-friendly Fisheries” last year. ACAP is pleased to be able to work once more with Artists and Biologists Unite for Nature (ABUN) over January and February on its 39th Project (“World Albatross Day 2022 - Climate Change”) to produce artworks that will help increase awareness of the conservation plight facing the world’s albatrosses.
In support of World Albatross Day and its annual themes ACAP highlights one or more of the 22 albatross species each year with posters, infographics and artworks in ACAP’s three official languages of English, French and Spanish. The featured species chosen for 2022 are two of the three species of albatrosses that breed in the North Pacific: the Black-footed Phoebastria nigripes and the Laysan P. immutabilis. Both these Near Threatened albatrosses have most of their breeding populations on the low-lying atolls of the USA’s North-Western Hawaiian Islands. These atolls - and their breeding seabirds - are all at risk from sea level rise and increases in the number and severity of storms that result in flooding, both considered a consequence of climate change. Storm floods have even caused at least one small sandy islet to disappear into the sea, taking with it breeding sites for several thousand albatross pairs (click here). Elsewhere in the island chain, as on Midway Atoll, storms have caused flooding of albatross nests and loss of chicks close to the shore.
This year for WAD2022, ACAP will be working with the Hawaii-based environmental NGO, Pacific Rim Conservation, to feature its ongoing project to create a new albatross colony safe from predicted sea level rise by translocating and hand-rearing Black-footed and Laysan Albatross chicks on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. It is hoped ABUN’s artworks will help draw attention to this work.
With thanks to Kitty Harvill, ABUN Co-founder.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 03 January 2022