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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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Bouncing back: Grey Petrel populations on Macquarie Island recovering after invasive pest eradication

Grey Petrel chick Macca Penny PascoeA Grey Petrel chick in its burrow on Macquarie Island; photograph courtesy of Penny Pascoe

Jeremy Bird (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia) and colleagues have published open access in the journal Conservation Biology on the recovery dynamics of burrowing seabirds, including the ACAP-listed Grey Petrel Procellaria cinerea, on Australia's Macquarie Island since the island’s invasive predator eradication.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Eradicating invasive predators from islands can result in substantial recovery of seabirds, but the mechanisms that drive population changes remain poorly understood. Meta-analyses have recently revealed that immigration is surprisingly important to the recovery of philopatric seabirds, but it is not known whether dispersal and philopatry interact predictably to determine rates of population growth and changes of distribution. We used whole-island surveys and long-term monitoring plots to study the abundance, distribution, and trends of 4 burrowing seabird species on Macquarie Island, Australia, to examine the legacy impacts of invasive species and ongoing responses to the world's largest eradication of multiple species of vertebrates. Wekas (Gallirallus australis) were eradicated in 1988; cats (Felis catus) in 2001; and rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), black rats (Rattus rattus), and mice (Mus mus) in 2011–2014. We compared surveys from 1976–1979 and 2017–2018 and monitoring from the 1990s and 2000s onward. Antarctic prions (Pachyptila desolata) and white-headed petrels (Pterodroma lessonii) increased ∼1% per year. Blue petrels (Halobaena caerulea) and gray petrels (Procellaria cinerea) recolonized following extirpation from the main island in the 1900s but remained spatially and numerically rare in 2018. However, they increased rapidly at 14% and 10% per year, respectively, since cat eradication in 2001. Blue and gray petrel recolonization occurred on steep, dry, west-facing slopes close to ridgelines at low elevation (i.e., high-quality petrel habitat). They overlapped <5% with the distribution of Antarctic prion and white-headed petrels which occurred in suboptimal shallow, wet, east-facing slopes at high elevation. We inferred that the speed of population growth of recolonizing species was related to their numerically smaller starting size compared with the established species and was driven by immigration and selection of ideal habitat.”

An article by the authors about the study can be found in the research-based news and analysis publication, The Conversationhere.



Bird, J. P., Fuller, R. A., &  Shaw, J. D. (2024).  Patterns of recovery in extant and extirpated seabirds after the world's largest multipredator eradication. Conservation Biology, e14239.

18 March 2024

World Bank seeks Senior Fisheries Specialist

The World Bank logo

The Environment, Natural Resources, and Blue Economy Global Practice (ENB) within the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group, is advertising a vacancy for a Senior Fisheries Specialist with expertise and practical experience in Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Blue Economy within the SENGL.

"The Senior Fisheries Specialist will report to the SENGL Practice Manager and will be based in Washington, DC. The Senior Fisheries Specialist will effectively provide a full range of support to the PROBLUE Secretariat. In addition, the Senior Fisheries Specialist will be an integral part of the wider SENGL team and expected to take a proactive role in providing effective, high-quality technical and strategic support to other WB Teams.


The Sr. Fisheries Specialist will have the following key responsibilities as agreed with his/her Practice Manager based on an annual Results Agreement.

  • Technical Advisory Work. As a member of the Global Platform Unit, the incumbent will provide technical advice on a broad range of solutions to fisheries and aquaculture in World Bank operations, including to the analysis of data related to the Bank’s fisheries and aquaculture/ blue economy pipeline and portfolio. This also includes providing leadership in the implementation overall PROBLUE work program, with a focus on fisheries and aquaculture governance, management and development i.e., PROBLUE´s Pillar 1 – Fisheries and Aquaculture.
  •  Analytical Work Program. The incumbent is expected to bring and provide in-depth technical expertise on environmental and natural resource management issues with a focus on oceans, coastal and aquatic management, climate resilience, and coastal landscapes. In addition, the Sr. Fisheries Specialist will (i) lead in the development of platforms for fisheries and aquaculture management and development, for knowledge exchange and partnerships; (ii) undertake research for the development of new World Bank operations; and (iii) analyze data to enhance the understanding of linkages between fisheries and aquaculture governance and management, marine and coastal ecosystems management and protection, and economic development, poverty reduction, gender balance and broader social-inclusion issues, climate change and private sector finance mobilization.
  • Global Outreach. The incumbent will be expected to (i) provide input into the World Bank’s global outreach on fisheries and aquaculture; (ii) input into briefs and presentations for the Bank senior management for engagement in international conferences, negotiations and bilateral cooperation; (iii) represent the Bank at technical conferences and workshops and (iv) support documentation and management of knowledge including support for publications, e-books, webinars and organizing events.
  • Program Administration and Fundraising. The Sr. Fisheries Specialist will be expected to provide leadership in the day-to-day management of PROBLUE, including the preparation of supporting documents and the organization of and participation in meetings. In addition, as a member of the PROBLUE Secretariat, duties of the position include the review of funding proposals, monitoring of grants, inputs to annual reports and annual workplans and budget for Pillar 1. contribute to the technical aspects of trust funded programs, supporting and help maintaining development partner relations and day to day management .
  • Knowledge Management. The incumbent is expected to (i) maintain effective communication with relevant communities of practice, including NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations; (ii) actively participate in communities of practice and global level technical innovation and knowledge sharing in the area of fisheries and aquaculture will be an important component of this position; as well as (iii) support the coordination and carrying out other tasks as requested by the Manager such as for example, contribute to the organization of training or knowledge sharing events.

Selection Criteria:

  • Master’s or PhD degree in fisheries management or economics, or other relevant area, with a strong socio-economic and/or fisheries-technical perspective.
  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional and practical experience in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, in the domain of management and development. Familiarity with fisheries and aquaculture policies and international conventions and agreements, strategies, institutions, and regulations.
  • Practical experience, ideally in World Bank client countries, either from a public or private perspective, of planning, negotiating, implementing, administrating or managing national or regional projects in developing countries and/or the conception and execution of global studies, projects or initiatives in capture fisheries, aquaculture or seafood value chains. Experience of coordinating multi-country activities would be a plus.
  • A demonstrated knowledge of international fisheries and aquaculture issues and trends including a balanced perspective with regard to production and conservation goals for fisheries and oceans and aquatic ecosystems and an ability to innovate and build synergies across sectors.
  • Experience with fund raising from a wide range of donors would be an advantage.
  • Committed team player with demonstrated inter-personal skills and ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment. Collaborates across sectoral boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
  • Ability to function at the highest levels in a multi-cultural environment, building and sustaining partnerships with developing country officials and colleagues, private sector representatives and partners from international financial, economic or development-assistance organizations.
  • Proven skills and ability to transfer knowledge, as well as diplomatic skills to present views at the highest levels internally and externally. Ability to contribute to knowledge sharing activities.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English is essential. Working knowledge of French or Spanish would be required. Command of additional language(s) would be an advantage.
  • Willingness to travel internationally as necessary."

For more information on the World Bank and the position, please see the vacancy advertisement at the World Bank website, here.

The deadline for applications is 26 March 2024.

15 March 2024

Shy Albatross chicks succumb to heat stress during hot weather

Shy Albatross Richard Wastell
Charcoal drawing of a Shy Albatross chick, artwork by Richard Wastell

Claire Mason (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia) and colleagues have published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series on effects of heat stress on chicks of the globally Near Threatened Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta.  The open-access paper is to appear within a themed issue “How do marine heatwaves impact seabirds?” along with 12 other publications.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“With increasing air temperatures and frequency of extreme weather events predicted under climate change, ground-nesting seabird chicks are vulnerable, enduring months at a fixed and often completely exposed nest site, with limited behavioural capacity to reduce heat load.  Endangered [in Australia] shy albatross Thalassarche cauta breed in temperate southern Australia, a region warming at about 4 times the global average.  We used a remote-monitoring camera to obtain the daily status for ~150 nests each season for 7 seasons (2014–2015 to 2020–2021; 1036 nests in total), allowing clear determination of the date of chick death. We explored local weather conditions associated with chick mortality.  We observed 68 downy chick deaths (55 %) across a 30-d period in 2018. This period corresponded with anomalously high and prolonged wet bulb globe temperature, an index for heat stress. We show that shy albatross breeding attempts are vulnerable to hot weather conditions and define extreme heat stress conditions for this species (>20° wet bulb globe temperature). Documenting the relationship between chick survival and heat before future catastrophic events occur gives managers time to plan for future heatwaves by developing climate adaptation strategies for seabird populations.”

With thanks to Verena Gill.


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

Mason, C., 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

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 14 March 2024

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.

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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