ACAP Latest News

Read about recent developments and findings in procellariiform science and conservation relevant to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels in ACAP Latest News.

Contact the ACAP Communications Advisor if you wish to have your news featured.

Click here to subscribe to ACAP NewsClick here to subscribe to 'ACAP Latest News'

SCAR’s Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals holds a tracking workshop in Germany

The Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals (EGBAMM) of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) held a tracking workshop in Delmenhorst , Germany last month.  Five species of ACAP-listed albatrosses that breed at islands in the Southern Ocean were among the 15 seabird and marine mammal species considered at the workshop.

A news release by EGBAMM on the workshop follows:

“A recent meeting in Delmenhorst, Germany brought together a team of scientists specialising in tracking of Antarctic marine mammals and birds.  The Southern Ocean is a remote, hostile environment where conducing marine biology is challenging, so we know relatively little about this important region, which is critical as a habitat for breeding and foraging of many marine endotherms.  But this team use[s] animals to help them find Areas of Ecological Significance – or biological hotspots in the Southern Ocean.  Scientists from around the world have been tracking seals, penguins, whales and albatrosses for more than two decades to learn how they spend their time at sea.  In the Retrospective Analysis of Antarctic Tracking Data (RAATD), this team has brought together tracking data from 38 biologists from 11 different countries to accumulate the largest animal-tracking database in the world, containing information from 15 species, containing over 3400 individual animals and almost 2.5 million at-sea locations.  Analysing a dataset of this size brings its own challenges and the team is developing new and innovative statistical approaches to integrate these complex data.  The meeting in Delmenhorst enabled the RAATD team to complete the daunting task of compiling and checking this enormous dataset, and to develop and run the statistical models that will lead to the identification of the hotspots.  When complete RAATD will provide a greater understanding of fundamental ecosystem processes in the Southern Ocean, help predict the future of top predator distribution and help with spatial management planning.”


Sooty Albatross, one of the tracked albatross species reviewed, photograph by Kirk Zufelt

With thanks to Yan Ropert-Coudert, SCAR-EGBAMM Secretary for information, who reports to ACAP “RAATD's future workshops are already a certainty as the working group of RAATD has secured a French-based grant to fund two workshops a year for the next 2.5 years.”


Anon. [2016].  Report on the Second SCAR Retrospective Analysis of Antarctic Tracking Data Workshop.  18 pp.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 26 May 2016

Contrasting movement strategies among juvenile albatrosses and petrels

Sophie de Grissac (Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, Villiers en Bois, France) and colleagues have compared the at-sea movements of juveniles of nine species of southern albatrosses and petrels - all ACAP-listed - in the online publication Scientific Reports.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Animal movement is a fundamental eco-evolutionary process yet the behaviour of juvenile animals is largely unknown for many species, especially for soaring seabirds which can range widely over the oceans at low cost.  We present an unprecedented dataset of 98 juvenile albatrosses and petrels (nine species), tracked for the first three months after independence.  There was a startling diversity within and among species in the type and scale of post-natal movement strategies, ranging from area-restricted to nomadic patterns.  Spatial scales were clustered in three groups that ranged from <3000 km to >6000 km from the natal nest.  In seven of the nine species, the orientation of flight paths and other movement statistics showed strong similarities between juveniles and adults, providing evidence for innate orientation abilities.  Our results have implications for understanding the development of foraging behaviour in naïve individuals and the evolution of life history traits such as survival, lifespan and breeding strategy.”

Amsterdam Albatross South Africa Trevior Hardaker

Amsterdam Albatross off South Africa, photograph by Trevor Hardaker


de Grissac, S., Börger, L., Guitteaud, A. & Weimerskirch, H. 2016.  Contrasting movement strategies among juvenile albatrosses and petrels. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 26103.  doi:10.1038/srep26103.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 25 May 2016

Work with Waved Albatrosses: field technicians required for the Galapagos

Three volunteer field technicians are needed from mid-October 2016 to late January 2017 for work on the breeding biology of the Critically Endangered and ACAP-listed Waved Albatross Phoebastria irrorata and on the Nazca Booby Sula granti on Isla Española, Galápagos, Ecuador.

A colour-banded Waved Albatross incubates its hatchng egg, photograph by Kate Huyvaert

The assistants will complete a group totalling five continuing a 33-year study of these species.  The majority of the work will be identifying banded parents at nests, marking nests and conducting daily nest monitoring, 7-9 hours per day (sometimes more) of physically taxing and fascinating work in an incredible place.  The group will live in tents at a primitive field camp on this uninhabited island, a day's boat ride from the nearest civilization.

Requirements include physical fitness, tolerance of heat and sun, cheerful can-do attitude and attention to detail.  Previous field experience required, Spanish desirable.  All expenses paid, including travel from your home base. No salary.

To apply e-mail a one-page cover letter and contact information for three references, with c.v. attached, to David Anderson and Jenny Howard of the Department of Biology, Wake Forest University at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Review of applications will begin in mid-June, although the closing date for applications is 5 July 2016 (click here).

The Waved Albatross population of Isla Española was given a high priority status for study at this month’s Ninth Meeting of ACAP’s Advisory Committee in La Serena, Chile following the recommendation of its Population and Conservation Status Working Group.

With thanks to Dave Anderson for information.


Huyvaert, K.P., Uzcátegui, G.J. & Favero, M. 2016.  Priority Population Assessment – Waved Albatross at Española Island, Galápagos, Ecuador.  Third Meeting of the Population and Conservation Status Working Group La Serena, Chile, 5 – 6 May 2016.  PaCSWG3 Doc 04. [two-page summary and recommendations].

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 24 May 2016 

A Wandering Albatross goes on display in Scotland

A mounted Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans from Bird Island, and tracking devices, including geolocator-immersion loggers developed by British Antarctic Survey, set against the backdrop of a large map with tracks of albatrosses from Bird Island in the South Atlantic, have been included in a new exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.  These feature in a set of displays that the museum has developed in collaboration with the Royal Society for Bird Protection, Scotland, which are devoted to the research that supports important conservation initiatives, including work to reduce the impacts of fisheries on seabirds.

Photographs by Stephen Phillips

 With over 1.25 million visitors in 2015, this is one of the most visited museums in the United Kingdom outside of London.

Richard Phillips, Convenor, ACAP Population and Conservation Status Working Group, 23 May 2016

Occurrence and conservation of the Streaked Shearwater on the Korean Peninsula

Kirk Hart (Korea Institute of Ornithology & Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea) and colleagues have published in the journal Forktail on the status and conservation of the Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas on the Korean Peninsula.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“About 90% of the global population of Streaked Shearwaters Calonectris leucomelas breed on islands in the seas around Japan.  The species’s [sic] status and distribution in Japan is fairly well documented, but for the Korean part of the breeding range, only limited information in Korean language sources exists.  The species was first described in Korea in the 1880s and first studied on the breeding grounds by Japanese researchers in 1923.  Our objectives were to compare and update information on the distribution of Streaked Shearwaters around the Korean Peninsula and discuss threats and conservation.  An extensive literature review was undertaken and we made field visits to Chilbal Island, Ulleung Island, Gwan-eum Island and Juk Island to assess the presence and status of the species at these locations.  In total, we collated data from 27 Korean islands of which 19 had confirmed Streaked Shearwater colonies, four possibly had colonies, one had no colony and the species had probably been extirpated from the other three.  The biggest threat to the Korean colonies is from introduced predatory mammals such as rats Rattus sp. and domestic cats and dogs. Introduced predators are present on at least 10 of the 24 islands where Streaked Shearwaters currently breed, have bred or are evidently present. Introduced species severely reduce reproductive success on Sasu Island and have caused or contributed to extirpation on three other islands.  Other threats include fisheries bycatch, oil spillage and military activity.”


Streaked Shearwater


Hart, K.A., Choi, C.-Y., Bond, A.L., Humphries, G.R.W., Yoo, J.-C. & Nam, K.-B. 2015.  Streaked Shearwaters Calonectris leucomelas of the Korean Peninsula: distribution, status and potential threats.  Forktail 31: 55–63.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 20 May 2016

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.

About ACAP

ACAP Secretariat

119 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000

Tel: +61 3 6165 6674