Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

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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.

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Book review. Rehabilitation of procellariiform seabirds in Brazil, a manual in Portuguese


This book is a thorough introduction to the complex task of rehabilitating procellariiform seabirds written by world experts in the field of seabird medicine and rehabilitation.  It was written for use in Brazil and is only available in Portuguese; however, the content is universally applicable.  Rehabilitation of albatrosses, petrels and other procellariiform seabirds is a difficult task that requires exceptional skill and specialised techniques and equipment.  This publication documents the most successful techniques learned by rehabilitation centres around the world.  Veterinary care and stabilisation, correct hosing and enclosures for these birds, handling and transport, feeding, swimming and safe release are just some of the important topics covered.  This publication will go a long way towards making procellariiform rehabilitation more professional and improving the number of birds that are successfully released after rehabilitation.  I hope that the authors secure funding for English and Spanish translations in the near future.

The book’s chapter headings follow in Portuguese with English translations in parentheses:

1. INTRODUÇÃO (Introduction)

2. BIOLOGIA GERAL E ESPÉCIES COM OCORRÊNCIA NO BRASIL (General biology and species occurring in Brazil)

3. AMEAÇAS À CONSERVAÇÃO DOS PROCELLARIIFORMES NO BRASIL (Threats to the conservation of procellariiforms in Brazil)

4. INSTALAÇÕES E RECINTOS (Facilities and enclosures)

5. BIOSSEGURANÇA E USO DE EQUIPAMENTOS DE PROTEÇÃO INDIVIDUAL (Biosafety and use of personal protective equipment)

6. CONTENÇÃO FÍSICA, ESTABILIZAÇÃO EM CAMPO E TRANSPORTE (Physical containment, field stabilization and transportation)

7. ADMISSÃO E EXAME FÍSICO (Admission and physical examination)

8. ASPECTOS GERAIS DE MEDICINA E REABILITAÇÃO (General aspects of medicine and rehabilitation)

9. REABILITAÇÃO DE PROCELLARIIFORMES OLEADOS (Rehabilitation of oiled procellariiforms)

10. DEVOLUÇÃO À NATUREZA (SOLTURA) (Return to nature (release))

11. EUTANÁSIA (Euthanasia)

12. BIOMETRIA, COLHEITA DE AMOSTRAS BIOLÓGICAS E NECROPSIA (Biometrics, collection of biological samples and necropsy

13. DOCUMENTAÇÃO E FOTODOCUMENTAÇÃO (Documentation and photo-documentation)


15. CONSIDERAÇÕES DE BIOSSEGURANÇA PARA ATIVIDADES DE CAMPO (Biosafety considerations for field activities)

With thanks to Patricia Pereira Serafini.


Hurtado, R., Saviolli, J.Y. & Vanstreels, R.E.T. (Eds) 2020.  Reabilitação de Procellariiformes: (albatrozes, petréis, pardelas).  Santos, Brazil: Editora Comunnicar.  111 pp.  Many illustrations in colour.  Published electronically.  ISBN 978-85-8136-138-3.

David Roberts, Clinical Veterinarian, Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), 20 July 2020

Going the other way: migration route of New World Manx Shearwaters

Manx shearwater Nathan Fletcher s 

Manx Shearwater at sea, photograph by Nathan Fletcher

Annette Fayet (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK) and colleagues have published online in the open-access journal Marine Ornithology on the migration route of western Atlantic Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Manx Shearwaters are transequatorial migrants, and most of the world's population breeds in Britain and winters off the Patagonian Shelf in the western South Atlantic.  The migration route of British birds follows a well-known clockwise movement between the North and South Atlantic, taking advantage of the winds.  Whether this main Manx Shearwater migration corridor is used by the smaller populations breeding in the western North Atlantic is unknown.  Here, we report our findings from tracking two adults from a newly-established colony of Manx Shearwaters in Maine, USA using miniature geolocators.  The tracked shearwaters followed a post-breeding migration route southward along the US East Coast, through the Caribbean Sea, and along the coast of eastern South America.  Such a route greatly differs from the western North Atlantic birds' southbound migration route, being instead the reverse of the British birds' spring migration route.  We also used the tracking data to provide insight into the phenology of the birds' annual cycle.  Although our sample size is very small, our findings reveal a previously unknown migration route of Manx Shearwaters and raise questions about the origin of birds on western North Atlantic colonies and the mechanisms controlling migratory direction in the species.”


Fayet, A.L., Shannon, P., Lyons, D.E. & Kress, S.W. 2020.  Manx shearwaters Puffinus puffinus breeding in the western Atlantic follow a different migration route from their eastern Atlantic conspecifics.  Marine Ornithology 48: 179-183.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 17 July 2020

Fourth year of Black-footed Albatross translocation goes well as all 25 fledge from Hawaii’s James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge

Black footed Albatross 2018 translocation chicks 

Black-footed Albatross chicks of the 2018 translocation cohort in the James Campbell National Wildlife Reserve, photograph from Pacific Rim Conservation

Twenty-five Near Threatened Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes chicks were transported by air from the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge to the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in February this year.  Since then the birds have been hand fed behind a predator-proof fence until fledging by the environmental NGO Pacific Rim Conservation.  This is the fourth year of the project that aims to establish a new breeding colony protected against predicted sea-level rise which will deleteriously affect most of the albatrosses’ low-lying breeding sites in the North Pacific.  It is hoped that after three to five years at sea the young albatrosses will return to the James Campbell NWR to breed (click here).

All the 25 translocated Black-footed Albatrosses have now successfully fledged; one being watched by a drone as it flew out to sea.  Fittingly, the first one fledged on 19 June: World Albatross Day!  The last bird left on 12 July.  This brings the total fledged over four years to 86, out of 90 chicks collected from their original breeding sites (information from Lindsay Young, Pacific Rim Conservation and earlier posts to ACAP Latest News).

Watch the six-minute video here on hand-rearing the 2017 cohort of Black-footed Albatrosses in the James Campbell NWR.

Pacific Rim Conservation has translocated chicks of three other seabird species from low-lying atolls to the refuge to be hand reared: Laysan Albatross P. immutabilis, Bonin Petrel Pterodroma hypoleuca and Tristram’s Storm Petrel Hydrobates tristrami.

The effort to create a new Black-footed Albatross colony considered safe from sea-level rise is being undertaken by Pacific Rim Conservation in partnership with the US Fish & Wildlife Service.  Read more on their translocation efforts here.

With thanks to Lindsay Young, Pacific Rim Conservation.


VanderWerf, E.A., Young, L.C., Kohley, C.R., Dalton, M.E., Fisher, R., Fowlke, L., Donohue, S. & Dittmar, E. 2019.  Establishing Laysan and black-footed albatross breeding colonies using translocation and social attraction.  Global Ecology and Conservation

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 16 July 2020

World Albatross Day’s Colouring-in Competition results. Part One: the Winners

Franco Serey Zorotovic 7 2

Franco Serey Zorotovic (aged seven), Colegio Pumahue Curauma, Valparaiso, Chile holds his winning entry

Earlier this year ACAP collaborated with Artists and Biologists Unite for Nature (ABUN) to produce a series of posters and individual artworks depicting the 22 species of the world’s albatrosses to mark and help support the inaugural World Albatross Day (‘WAD2020’) on 19 June.  ABUN artists were also requested to produce line drawings, suitable to be coloured in by children (or by young-at-heart adults).  One drawing for each species was selected for the competition and posted to this website, along with the photograph that inspired it (click here).  Artistic license was encouraged, for example think COVID-19 rainbow albatrosses.

The 124 entries (view them in all in a Facebook album) received by the deadline were assigned to five age classes, with a range from three to eighteen plus years.  Four judges of international standing (Dana Hargrove, Kitty Harvill, Caren Loebel-Fried and Laurie Smaglick Johnson) kindly agreed to choose winners and two runners-up* for each of four of the five age categories (because of the small number of entries only the winner was chosen for the adult category).  Their choices were assigned points which were then pooled to obtain the final results.

Competitions can come with their hitches and somewhere along the line instructions received by some entrants were incomplete, leading to a few entries received being freehand drawings.  To avoid disappointing these young entrants it was decided to include their artworks in the competition and the judges were accordingly informed.

The winning entries follow, congratulations to them all!

 Elisa Ahumada López 3

3-5-Year Category:  Elisa Ahumada López

 Franco Serey Zorotovic 7

6-8-Year Category:  Franco Serey Zorotovic

Gaspar Vergata Maios11 

9-11-Year Category:  Gaspar Vergata Maios (joint winner)

 Annabel 9

9-11-Year Category:  Annabel Wenn (joint winner)

 Black browed Albatross Xenia Sumina 14

12-17 Year Category:  Xenia Sumina

 Raúl Mora 19

18+ (Adult) Category:  Raúl Mora, entitled ‘The Breath’

All entrants will receive a specially designed electronic certificate illustrated with an ABUN albatross painting for printing.  The five winners will also receive a high-quality albatross poster suitable for framing by mail (but please expect delays occasioned by COVID-19 restrictions).

With grateful thanks to all the entrants for their colourful entries, the four judges for their choices, the ABUN artists and the photographers who contributed their works and Verónica López for encouraging entries from Latin American countries.  The parents and schoolteacher of Franco Serey Zorotovic are thanked for permitting the publication of his photograph.

*The runners up, along with their artworks, will be featured in a follow-up post.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 15 July 2020

Cory’s Shearwaters vary their foraging patterns in relation to the North Atlantic Oscillation


Cory's Shearwater, photograph by Paulo Catry

Jorge Pereira (Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University of Coimbra, Portugal) and colleagues have published in the journal Regional Environmental Change on foraging behaviour, body condition and breeding performance of Cory’s Shearwaters Calonectris borealis at two different breeding islands.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Climate projections predict increases in the frequency and severity of extreme climate events over the next decades.  Hence, phases of extreme climatic indices are emerging as one of the most dangerous effects of climate chang though their impacts on wildlife populations are still poorly understood.  Here, we studied the foraging behaviour, body condition and breeding performance of a neritic (Berlenga Island) and oceanic (Corvo Island) population of Cory’s shearwaters (Calonectris borealis) in the mid-North Atlantic, during the two most positive and negative phases of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) reported in recent decades.  We showed that during an extreme negative NAO phase, birds from Berlenga spent less time foraging and provided less food to their chicks, which subsequently grew more slowly and were in poorer body condition. In contrast, the opposite pattern was found during the strong positive NAO phase in this population. Interestingly, during the same extreme negative NAO phase, birds from Corvo were more successful in terms of their foraging and breeding performance, taking advantage of the enhanced productivity associated with the cyclonic eddies (negative sea surface height anomalies) which occurred close to the colony. However, when anticyclonic eddies (positive sea surface height anomalies) were prevalent near the colony during the strong positive NAO phase, birds travelled longer distances, which negatively impacted their own body condition and that of their chicks.  Our study shows that populations breeding in neritic and oceanic areas of the eastern North Atlantic Ocean make contrasting foraging behavioural decisions in response to climate extremes and highlights the importance of mesoscale eddies for oceanic populations of pelagic seabirds.”


Pereira, J.M., Paiva, V.H., Ceia, F.R. & Ramos, J.A. 2020.  Facing extremes: Cory’s shearwaters adjust their foraging behaviour differently in response to contrasting phases of North Atlantic Oscillation.  Regional Environmental Change 20.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 14 July 2020