Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

A third albatross researcher is honoured by the UNEP/CMS Thesis Award on Migratory Species Conservation

Leandro Bugoni (Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Brazil) is one of 14 PhD graduates (out of 61 applicants from 25 countries) short-listed for the UNEP/CMS (Convention on Migratory Species) Thesis Award on Migratory Species Conservation for 2011 (click here).

The following has been extracted from Leandro's submission to the CMS:

"In this study I investigated Procellariiformes (albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters) at sea in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean.  Fourteen species and 301 individuals were sampled non-destructively using a cast net method.

The thesis addressed basic and applied research on albatrosses and petrels, migratory seabirds globally threatened by extinction, contributing on the ecology and conservation in several ways: methodologically, by demonstrating how to capture and sample seabirds non-destructively at sea, encouraging further research elsewhere on this neglected period; ageing albatrosses; improving stable isotope analysis; providing data on general biology and natural mortality factors; applied conservation, by revising bycatch in the South-western Atlantic Ocean in the globally well known pelagic longline and providing insights on small-scale fisheries, not recognized previously as threat for seabirds and sea turtles; investigating overlap of longliners and satellite tracked Spectacled Petrels [Procellaria conspicillata] distribution; demographic impacts of fishery mortality on males and females; how benefits from food discards, and costs from incidental mortality, are balanced and vary according to species; conservation of Trindade Petrels [Pterodroma arminjoniana] in breeding grounds by determining at sea distribution using geolocators, feeding ecology, breeding biology and recent expansion towards Indian Ocean mediated by introduced mammals and deforestation investigated through molecular methods.

New data and insights were widely disseminated in international forums, providing evidences on how fisheries disrupt migration increasing mortality in fisheries or providing food discards.  All these have important implications, and applications, in the research and mitigation of fishery impacts, recognized as a major factor impairing the long-term survival of albatrosses and petrels."

A Spectacled Petrel calls at its breeding site on Inaccessible Island in the South Atlantic
Photograph by Peter Ryan

Leandro's PhD was awarded by the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK in 2008 for his thesis entitled "Ecology and Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels at Sea off Brazil".

Two other albatross researchers have been previously honoured by the CMS thesis award.  The inaugural 2008 award was made to Samantha Petersen, with the third laureate being Ross Wanless. Both are South African graduates from the FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town (click here).

Click here to read the abstract of one of Leandro's scientific papers emanating from his thesis.  More be found by searching on Bugoni on this web site.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 10 November 2011