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Essential Criteria: ACAP’s Dr Christine Bogle offers insights into the role of Executive Secretary

Christine Bogle 1ACAP Executive Secretary, Dr Christine Bogle

ACAP’s Executive Secretary, Dr Christine Bogle has been steering the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels since late 2018, bringing her passion and wealth of diplomatic experience to this critical role. 

A citizen of New Zealand, Christine spent over three decades as a New Zealand diplomat, including three postings as Head of Mission, and her academic background includes a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

As the Agreement begins the search for her successor, Christine shares valuable insights into the multifaceted responsibilities of the Executive Secretary. From navigating administrative challenges to fostering international collaboration, Christine provides a comprehensive understanding of the role's intricacies and rewards.

How would you describe the role of the Executive Secretary?

The role is a mixture of management/administration and international diplomatic engagement and advocacy.  The ACAP Secretariat is a small office of only two staff, and the Executive Secretary accordingly has responsibility for carrying out a large number of administrative and organisational tasks, such as managing the Agreement’s Budget. On the international side, the Executive Secretary represents ACAP at a range of regional and multilateral meetings, as well as one-on-one engagement with relevant contacts worldwide. Both aspects of the job require a large amount of report writing and other written activities. 

How do you balance the administrative tasks with the passion for wildlife conservation in your daily routine?

Fortunately, the role itself provides a balance between these factors. The diplomatic engagement and advocacy allow me to play my part in the efforts to “achieve and maintain a favourable conservation status for albatrosses and petrels” (the overall objective of ACAP). The administrative functions also support the objective by ensuring the smooth management of the Secretariat and helping facilitate coordination amongst the ACAP Parties and others.

How does the Executive Secretary facilitate communication and collaboration among Parties and stakeholders to promote and achieve the objectives of ACAP?

The main occasions on which the ACAP Parties and other interested bodies come together are the annual ACAP meetings (the Meeting of the Parties every three years, and the Advisory Committee and Working Groups in the intervening two years). The Executive Secretary plays a key role in organising and managing these meetings, together with Secretariat staff and meeting Chairs and Convenors.

What challenges have you faced while working as the Executive Secretary, and how did you overcome them?

A major challenge, obviously not just for me as Executive Secretary, was the COVID pandemic. Together with colleagues, I had to work out ways to continue ACAP’s operations without our annual in-person meetings, and to engage internationally with ACAP’s international partners.  I can’t personally take credit for the coping mechanisms that we developed, as they were the result of collaboration and consultation with a large number of contacts. To take but one example, some organisations developed the concept of using pre-meeting discussion documents (by correspondence) to deal with some agenda items of their annual meetings and to enable the (necessarily online) meetings to be shorter and more efficient. This was a practice that ACAP adopted. 

A challenge more specific to ACAP is the need to encourage more Range States to become Parties to the Agreement. Although no new accessions to the Agreement have as yet taken place during my term, I have taken every opportunity to encourage relevant countries  to consider joining ACAP, or at least to participate in our meetings as observers.

What skills or attributes do you believe are necessary to succeed in this position?

The skills needed for the position are those outlined in the criteria (essential and desirable) as set out in the advertisement for the position. These are:

Essential criteria 

  • Must be a national of an ACAP Party.
  • Experience or detailed knowledge of the operations of international intergovernmental organisations.
  • Representational and promotional skills.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Demonstration of an appropriate level of managerial experience and proven competence, including: (a) the preparation of financial budgets and the management of expenditures, and (b) the organisation of meetings and provision of Secretariat support for high level committees.

Desirable criteria

  • Familiarity with the conservation of albatrosses and petrels.
  • Relevant experience and qualifications.
  • Proficiency in the other languages of ACAP Parties and Range States, in particular the other two official ACAP languages (Spanish and French).

From these it can be seen that, as I commented earlier, the position requires both multilateral diplomatic experience  and organisational ability.  Both these aspects of the job require a large amount of report writing and interaction with a range of different contacts. Hence, fluency in English is highlighted as an essential criterion, while proficiency in other relevant languages (in particular, French and Spanish, the other two ACAP official languages) is included amongst the desirable criteria. 

What do you enjoy most about the position?

As a diplomat with many years of experience working in different countries, I particularly enjoy the interaction with colleagues from all over the world, and the opportunity to use my language skills in Spanish and French. An added bonus is the location of the Secretariat in Hobart.  It’s been a real privilege to be able to spend several years getting to know Tasmania, which was also the home of some of my ancestors in the 19th century. For me, then, the great attractions of the job have been – the ability to use my diplomatic skills, using my language skills on a regular basis, and being part of the international community, while living in wonderful Tasmania. 

ACAP are now accepting applications for the role of Executive Secretary, to commence on 1st July 2025. If you are passionate about contributing to the preservtion of albatrosses and petrels, this role offers a meaningful opportunity to be part of a crucial conservation effort. Applications can be submitted in any of ACAP's three official languages. Information on the role can be found in all three languages at the following links:

English: Advertisement of Vacancy for ACAP Executive Secretary 2025 

French: Annonce pour le poste de Secrétaire exécutif de l'ACAP 2025 

Spanish: Anuncio para el cargo de Secretario Ejecutivo del ACAP 2025 

The deadline for applications is close of business 2 April 2024. 

 13 March 2024

Helping seabirds, seals and whales. Enhanced protection for a large Marine Protected Area in the South Atlantic

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South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area, showing the newly closed areas

A further expansion of the protection of waters surrounding South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Georgias del Sur y Islas Sandwich del Sur)* has been recently announced, following a second five-year review.  This comes after a previous expansion in 2019 after the first 5-year review of the MPA.  It is considered to be a “crucial step in conserving a unique and vital ecosystem”.  The 1.24 million km2 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area was established in 2012.

 Based on new research on “climate impacts, whale population dynamics, toothfish habitats and penguin foraging”, the MPA is to extend full protections by being closed to all fishing activity across an additional 166 000 km² (increasing their area from 283 000 km2 to 449 000 km2).  This will result in c. 36% of the MPA falling under no-take protection.  “During the five months when highly regulated, licensed fishing is permitted, 40% of the MPA will now be closed to krill fishing, with 95% closed to longline fishing”. Closure to longline fishing is significant as it is an important cause of mortality of the albatrosses and some of the petrels that breed in numbers on South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur)*.  Further, the whole MPA remains closed to bottom trawl fishing, which can also be a source of seabird mortality,

Richard Phillips Black browed Albatross 7
Enhanced marine protection is welcome for this inquisitive Black-browed Albatross
Thalassarche melanophris on its nest on Bird Island, photograph by Richard Phillips

The announcement of enhanced protection for a very large MPA around a seabird breeding island  is welcome in a year when the Albatross and Petrel Agreement has chosen “Marine Protected Areas – Safeguarding our Oceans” as its theme for World Albatross Day on 19 June 2024,

Read more about the MPA enhancement here and about other very large MPAs around island supporting ACAP-supported breeding species here.

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 07 March 2024

*A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Georgias del Sur y Islas Sandwich del Sur) and the surrounding maritime areas.

Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge set to track ACAP-listed Black-footed Albatrosses and Pink-footed Shearwaters at sea

 Oikonos Black footed Albatross satellite tag

The aerial is visible on this Black-footed Albatross tagged on Laysan Island.  The satellite transmitter is taped to back feathers and is expected to fall off in c. three months

The USA-based environmental NGO, Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge has been busy fitting tracking devices to two ACAP-listed species in two hemispheres,  They are the Near Threatened Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes in the USA’s North-Western Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and on in the north and the Vulnerable Pink-footed Shearwater Ardenna creatopus on Chile’s Juan Fernández Archipelago in the south.

Information from the Februaty 2024 Newsletter (subscribe here).

Black-footed Albatross - Laysan Island

Jessie Beck and Ilana Nimz  of Oikonos, along with members of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service  visited Laysan Island in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument last month for a single day and deployed 10 satellite transmitters and 20 archival Global Location Sensing (GLS) tags on adult Black-footed Albatrosses.  The study builds on “two decades of work to better understand albatross mortality in fisheries (termed bycatch) throughout the North Pacific.”  A separate team is on Kure Atoll, the most western island within the monument, deploying more tags on Black-footed Albatrosses.

pmnm expansion mapNorth-Western Hawaiian Islands within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (solid line)

Pink-footed Shearwater - Santa Clara and Robinson Crusoe Islands

Recently, an Oikonos team visited Santa Clara and Robinson Crusoe Islands in the Juan Fernández Archipelago  to study Pink-footed Shearwaters. The team equipped 39 shearwaters with GLS tags and six with satellite transmitters.  This study is funded by Environment Canada and is a collaboration with the Department of Oceanography, Universidad de Concepción.  Studying aspects of the biology and conservation of the Pink-footed Shearwaters (including by tracking on migration) is a long-standing project of Oikonos.  News from the Oikonos Facebook page.

Oikonos Pink footed Sheawater satellite transmitter
A Pink-footed Shearwater shows the aerial of its back-mounted satellite tracker, all photographs from Oikonos

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 07 March 2024

Study finds climate change has surpassed all other threats to Australia’s threatened birds

Greyhead Macca Melanie WellsThe successful eradicaiton of rodents and rabbits from Australia's Macquarie Island was an example in the study of where effective conservation interventions relieved the threat load on Australia's threatened bird taxa. A grey-headed Albatross on Macquarie Island; photo by Melanie Wells

Stephen Garnett (Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Australia) and colleagues have published open access in the journal Emu - Austral Ornithology a review of the projected impact of threats and the degree to which their management is executed for all threats to Australia’s threatened bird species in the decade between 2010 and 2020.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Most biodiversity monitoring globally tends to concentrate on trends in species’ populations and ranges rather than on threats and their management. Here we review the estimated impact of threats and the extent to which their management is understood and implemented for all threats to all Australian threatened bird taxa. The assessment reports the situation in 2020 and how this differs from 2010. The most marked finding was that the impact of climate change has increased greatly over the last decade, and now surpasses invasive species as the threat imposing the heaviest threat load. Climate change has driven recent massive population declines from increased temperatures in tropical montane rainforests and from fire. For both direct climate change impacts and fire management, progress in understanding how to relieve the threats has been slow and patchy. Consequently, little effective management has occurred. By comparison, our analysis showed that the single successful campaign to eradicate introduced mammals from Macquarie Island relieved the total threat load on Australian threatened birds by 5%, and more than halved the load on the birds from oceanic islands. Protection or rehabilitation of habitat, particularly on islands, has also delivered measurable benefit as have, in the longer term, controls on longline fishing. Our approach can be used with other taxonomic groups to understand progress in research and management and to allow quantification of potential benefits from proposed actions, such as the national threatened species plan.”


Garnett, S.T., Woinarski, J. C. Z., Baker, G. B., et al. (2024) Monitoring threats to Australian threatened birds: climate change was the biggest threat in 2020 with minimal progress on its management, Emu - Austral Ornithology, 124:1, 37-54, DOI: 10.1080/01584197.2023.2291144

06 March 2024

THE ACAP MONTHLY MISSIVE. A big thank you to Verena Gill of the Pacific Seabird Group for trawling the literature for us all

Verena GillVerena Gill on an aerial survey for Beluga Whales in Alaskan waters

Verena Gill currently works at the Alaska Region of NOAA Fisheries’ Protected Resources Division as the supervisor of the Marine Mammals Conservation Branch.  For a number of years, she has been tirelessly trawling the scientific literature and corresponding with authors to put together a monthly list of publications on seabirds and sending it out to subscribers via a listserv of the Pacific Seabird Group (which last month held its 51st Annual Meeting).  ACAP Latest News has regularly used her lists to feature papers on procellariiform seabirds, concentrating on those about ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels, thus saving me, and now a colleague, hours of work spent on our own trawling.

Verena has now retired from putting together the free monthly service and writes “Here are the seabird related papers for February 2024.  I'm afraid this will be my final compilation.  As you can imagine it takes a fair bit of time to put these together as I comb through journal [tables of contents] every month in the wee hours.  So it's time for me to get more sleep and finish up some of my own papers that have been lingering way too long.  And I might just get to Nordic ski (my happy place) a bit more too.  Thank you to everyone [who] has sent their citations in.  You are superstars putting all this great science out.  I have enjoyed reading a lot of these manuscripts and engaging in stimulating discussions with many of you.”

Shy Albatross Kris Carlyon 3
Shy Albatrosses, photograph by Kris Carlyon

Her final list contains two papers by Claire Mason (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia) and colleagues on the Near Threatened Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta, both of which had so far escaped my own attention to the literature, as has Claire’s PhD thesis, posted only a few days ago..  One of her publications , entitled “Shy albatross Thalassarche cauta chick mortality and heat stress in a temperate climate” appears as an “advance abstract” in the journal Marine Ecology Progress SeriesThe open-access paper will appear within a themed issue “How do marine heatwaves impact seabirds?” along with 12 other publications.  A timely subject as anthropogenic climate change remorselessly warms our planet.

So, a big thank you from me and from everyone in the ACAP Secretariat to Verena Gill for her tireless service to the global community of marine ornithologists.  Not everyone who labours for our collective good does so in the public eye.  Enjoy the skiing, and the Belugas, Verena!


Mason C. 2023.  Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta Conservation under Climate Change.  PhD thesis, University of Tasmania, Hobart.  135 pp.

Mason, C., Hobday, A.J., Lea M.-A. & Alderman, R. 2023.  Individual consistency in the localised foraging behaviour of shy albatross (Thalassarche cauta). Ecology and Evolution 13: e10644.

Mason, C., Hobday, A.J., Alderman, R. & Lea, M.-A. 2024.  Shy albatross Thalassarche cauta chick mortality and heat stress in a temperate climate.  Marine Ecology Progress Series

Note both Claire Mason’s journal publications will be fully featured in upcoming posts to ACAP Latest News.

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 05 March 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.

About ACAP

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Hobart TAS 7000

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