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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“Winter by the Sea – Australia’s Sub Antarctic Wildlife” – a lecture by Melanie Wells


Light-mantled flyby - Melanie Wells in her natural habitat on Macquarie Island

“Join seabird researcher Melanie Wells as she describes the extraordinary marine life that make their homes on Australia’s sub-Antarctic Islands.  The presentation features seabirds including albatross, petrels, and about a million penguins, and of course seals that haul up on the beaches, and is largely focused on Macquarie Island, managed by Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife where Mel has worked as a Wildlife Ranger.”

Presented live on 28 July as part of Coastcare Victoria and Parks Victoria’s “Winter by the Sea” series of online talks.

With thanks to Mark Rodrigue, State-wide Leader - Marine and Coasts, Environment and Science Division, Parks Victoria & Melanie Wells, albicake baker extraordinaire.

Melanie Wells Light mantled Albatross 1

Baking up a storm: A Light-mantled Albatross cake by Meanie Wells waits for its legs - before coming  fifth by people's choice in the Great Albicake Bake Off

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 11 August 2020

Wrong hemisphere! A Black-browed Albatross turns up among gannets at the United Kingdom's Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs Black browed Albatross Craig Thomas 

A Black-browed Albatross among the Northern Gannets at Bempton Cliffs, photograph by Craig Thomas

An adult Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris was photographed on 2 July this year among Northern Gannets Morus bassanus at Bempton Cliffs in the United Kingdom.  The mainland seabird colony in Yorkshire is a nature reserve managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).  The unbanded bird was present for a few days before departing (click here).

According to the report of last month’s sighting a Black-browed Albatross was seen at Bempton Cliffs in 2017.  The species has been recorded as singletons in the UK (click here for a 2015 record) and elsewhere in the North Atlantic from time to time, including off Canada.

See also here.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 10 August 2020

Protecting shearwaters at night: BirdLife Malta releases Guidelines for Ecologically Responsible Lighting

Crymbie cover

The Milky Way as observed from Dwejra, Gozo, Malta, cover photograph by Joseph Caruana

“With the aim of protecting Malta’s nocturnal environment for seabirds and beyond, BirdLife Malta’s LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija project – which this year comes to an end – has released a set of guidelines for ecologically responsible lighting in the Maltese Islands.

These guidelines for best practices in lighting are now being shared with the relevant stakeholders as part of the EU LIFE-funded project which has over the past five years worked to secure the Maltese Islands for the Yelkouan Shearwater [Puffinus yelkouan] (Garnija), a small seabird species that can only be found in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean region. The Maltese Islands are home to approximately 10% of the world population of this shearwater species, therefore their protection is important on the global scale, especially with the population declines Yelkouan Shearwaters have been facing over the last decades.”

Yelkouan Shearwater Matthew Borg Cardona

Yelkouan Shearwater, photograph by Matthew Borg Cardona

Scopolis lights Malta

Undirected shore-line lights in Malta shine brightly

Read the whole media release by BirdLife Malta here.


Crymble, J. [2020].  Guidelines for Ecologically Responsible Lighting.  Protecting the Nocturnal Environment of the Maltese Islands for Seabirds and Beyond.  BirdLife Malta LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija Project39 pp.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 07 August 2020

World Albatross Day’s Colouring-in Competition results. Part Two: the Runners Up

Ellison Gunn 12 

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.

The age-category winners have already been posted here.  Now is the time to feature the runners up in the age categories from three to seventeen years of age.  Congratulations to them all!

 3-5-Year Category

 Mount Nelson Primary Prep 2

Equal 2nd: Mount Nelson Primary School Prep GT class #2*

 Mount Nelson Primary Prep 9 PGT

Equal 2nd: Mount Nelson Primary School Prep GT class #9*

6-8-Year Category

 Quentin Gose 8

2nd: Quentin Gose

Valentina Calderón Madriaga 6 

3rd: Valentina Calderon

 9-11-Year Category

Mateo Kermarrec Manos No. 1 11 

Equal 3rd: Mateo Vergara

 Gabriel Muñoz 9

Equal 3rd: Gabriel Muñoz

12-17-Year Category

 Maggie Rennick 13 1

2nd: Maggie Rennick

 Ellison Gunn 12

Equal 3rd: Ellison Gunn

Erin Blankenheim Villarreal 13 

Equal 3rd: Erin Blankenheim Villarreal

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.

*Closure of the Mount Nelson Primary School in Hobart, Tasmania due to COVID-19 has meant that the names of these two runners up in the 3-5 year category are not available.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 05 August 2020,m updated 11 August 2020

Job Vacancy: Head of BirdLife International Marine Programme

Bird scaring lines Amanda Gladics 

A bird-scaring line keeps seabirds at bay, photograph by Amanda Gladics

The UK’s Royal Society for Bird Protection (RSPB) hosts the BirdLife International Marine Programme, with a particular emphasis on stopping albatross declines through implementing practical solutions to reduce bycatch in longline and trawl fisheries and protecting the most important sites for seabirds globally.

“We are looking for a visionary and inspiring marine specialist to head up the Birdlife International Marine Programme, leading the RSPB Global Seas programme, overseeing the Marine Programme Regional Co-ordinators in BirdLife International Partners across the world and co-ordinating the marine policy and scientific work at the BirdLife International Secretariat.

The overall aims of the Marine Programme are to improve the conservation status of the world's seabirds through the adoption of bycatch mitigation measures in longline and trawl fisheries, to identify bycatch mitigation measures in gillnet fisheries; and to delineate and protect marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas.  The successful candidate will have extensive experience of seabirds and marine issues and excellent skills in facilitation and the development and co-ordination of a dispersed team."

Closing date: 12 August 2020; applications to Irene Sabiniarz at

Read more here.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 04 August 2020