ACAP Secondment to support training for working with albatrosses and petrels during the on-going high pathogenicity H5N1 avian influenza outbreak

HPAI Workshop IAPC7

A pair of Wandering Albatrosses; photo by Melanie Wells. High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza was detected in Wandering Albatrosses on sub-Antarctic islands earlier in 2024

The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels is delighted to announce an opportunity to take part in a training workshop and Q&A session focused on mitigating the impact of high pathogenicity H5N1 avian influenza when working with albatrosses and petrels. 

The workshop and Q&A session, supported by the ACAP Secondment Programme, will take place, 1:30 PM – 6:00 PM (GMT -7), Thursday 23 May 2024, through a hybrid model, with any interested party able to participate either by attending in person at the upcoming Seventh International Albatross and Petrel Conference (IAPC7) in Mexico, or via virtual attendance through registration at the following link,

The workshop, which aligns with and expands upon the principles detailed in ACAP’s “Guidelines for working with albatrosses and petrels during the on-going high pathogenicity H5N1 avian influenza outbreak”, aims to improve reaction and mitigation efforts concerning HPAI for albatrosses and petrels and bolster international capacity for early detection and response while minimising further spread. 

The successful proposal to the 2023 round of ACAP’s Secondment Programme was submitted by Patricia Pereira Serafini, Co-convenor of the Agreement’s Population and Conservation Status Working Group (PaCSWG), and lead member of ACAP’s High Pathogenicity H5N1 Avian Influenza Intersessional Group. The HPAI Group consists of thirteen experts on epidemiology, disease risk assessment and management who advise ACAP on issues related to the ongoing H5N1 avian influenza outbreak. 

Patricia says one of the main drivers behind the proposal for the workshop was to create greater awareness of the recommendations contained in the ACAP Guidelines and to contribute to promoting human safety and preventing human-mediated spread of HPAI viruses to ACAP species. She said:

"The current threat presented by HPAI H5N1 to seabirds is unprecedented. The IAPC7 workshop aims to inform stakeholders about strategies for preventing and managing disease risks for ACAP populations and humans in contact with birds and provide insight in adjusting conservation strategies based on evolving disease dynamics. Disseminating ACAP's guidelines and providing training on practical tools for field teams is crucial for effective disease surveillance and mitigation, safeguarding human health and curbing virus spread.”

HPAI H5N1 workshop facilitators 2The four members of the ACAP HPAI H5N1 Intersessional Group who will be facilitating the workshop at IAPC7, from left to right: Jolene Giacinti, Ralph E. T. Vanstreels, Patricia Pereira Serafini and Amandine Gamble.

The workshop and Q&A session will be delivered by four members of the Intersessional Group:

  • Jolene Giacinti, Veterinary Epidemiologist and Wildlife Health Specialist, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Ralph E. T. Vanstreels, Latin America Program, Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, University of California - Davis, USA (based in Patagonia, Argentina)
  • Patricia Pereira Serafini, Federal University of Santa Catarina and National Centre for Wild Birds Conservation and Research –CEMAVE/ICMBio/MMA/Brazil 
  • Amandine Gamble, Department of Public and Ecosystem Health, Cornell University, USA

By supporting the training workshop and Q&A session on high pathogenicity H5N1 avian influenza, and sharing subsequent results and outcomes, this ACAP Secondment will aid in developing monitoring protocols for detecting HPAI in albatrosses and petrels, whilst fostering collaboration among stakeholders to address disease threats.

Registration for IAPC7 is still open, with information available at the conference website, here.

ACAP Latest News will report on the workshop and Q&A session at IAPC7, or follow the conference’s social media channels: Instagram, @iapc7_mx or X, @IAPC7_MX.

Any questions about the Q&A and workshop taking place on Thursday 23 May 2024 can be directed to ACAP Communications Advisor, Bree Forrer, here.

1 May 2024

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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