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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The Oceanic Society supports albatross conservation – and World Albatross Day

Oceanic Society 

Wayne Sentman, Director of Conservation Travel Programs, Oceanic Society, has written to ACAP Latest News describing how his society contributes to the conservation of albatrosses:

“Founded in 1969 when an “open moment” of ecological awakening stirred in America, the Oceanic Society became the first non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the world’s oceans.  A pioneer in ocean-based ecotourism, the Oceanic Society has always recognized the importance of putting people into nature to educate, inspire and equip them to live more sustainably.  In 1997 we began our first expeditions to the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.  From 1997-2002 the society assisted the US Fish & Wildlife Service with its seabird monitoring efforts, bringing out hundreds of volunteers to assist with monitoring albatross breeding plots, seabird habitat restoration efforts, and other seabird-focused research.  In 2002 the visitor programme on Midway closed, and it was not until 2008-2012 that it reopened.  During that period we resumed bringing out nature-oriented travellers to the atoll.  The visitor programme again closed in 2012 and has still not reopened.

Black footed Albatross 2018 translocation chicks

Translocated Black-footed Albatross chicks, photograph from Pacific Rim Conservation

Starting in Hatch Year 2016 Oceanic Society initiated an Adopt an Albatross Program to stay connected to the albatross conservation actions happening on Midway and to support awareness around plastic pollution education.  Over the ensuing five years our adoption programme has donated over US$ 3500 to the Kure Atoll Conservancy and Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and funds have supported presentations at the Sixth International Marine Debris Conference.  In 2020 the adoption programme also awarded its first small grant of US$ 800 to the NGO Pacific Rim Conservation to assist with monitoring Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes chicks translocated in response to projected sea level rise in the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.”

Rod Mast

Oceanic Society President and CEO, Rod Mast

Roderic Mast, Oceanic Society's President and CEO writes: “Oceanic is very excited to participate and support ACAP's inauguration of a World Albatross Day.  We look forward to the upcoming events and helping to raise awareness of these amazing seafaring birds worldwide.”

With thanks to Wayne Sentman, Director of Conservation Travel Programs, Oceanic Society.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 16 June 2020

Day Two of ‘World Albatross Week 2020’. The Colouring-in Competition gets off to a slow start - so round up your nieces and nephews

SARA PIZARRO MAGNASCO 10 

A rainbow Sooty Albatross by Sara Pizarro Magnasco, aged 10

The World Albatross Day Colouring-in Competition which was announced on 2 June, two weeks ago, very few entries have been received to date - unlike the Great Albicake Bake Off, which has received over 65 entries.  It seems colouring line drawings of albatrosses is much less exciting than baking!

Unlike the Bake Off competition, which is now closed and the images are being readied for the judges, coloured drawings may be submitted up to 30 June.  So there is still time to download drawings, find your crayons or coloured pencils and talk to your children, grand-children or nieces and nephews.  If you know any primary school teachers please consider copying this post to them.

Penelope Roman Lain 4

A Waved Albatross gets the colourful treatment by Penelope Roman Lain, aged four

Following discussion with a couple of “grown-ups”, a new adult category for the “young at heart” between 16 and 100 years has been established, for which a poster prize will also be awarded.  So there’s no real excuse if you are self isolating or in quarantine at home, or just needing a few minutes of relaxation in this COVID-19 world, to have a go yourself.

Light mantled Albatross rainbow Oli Prince Marion Schön 

A rainbow Light-mantled Albatross drawn and coloured by Marion Schön (16+!), from a photograph (see below) by Oli Prince

To enter the competition, simply download drawings by clicking below the chosen photographs, colour in as many as wished, write the name and age of the child (or name of adult!) in the available blank space on each one, then scan or photograph the finished drawings and e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Write “Colouring-in Competition” in the Subject Field and the child’s name and age and your e-mail address in the body of the message. There is no limit to the number of entries submitted per child (or adult)

Note it is not essential-to colour in the albatrosses with realistic colours, although the original photos can be viewed as a guide.  Artistic license is encouraged, so hoping to see some more COVID-19 rainbow albatrosses.

All entrants will receive a specially designed electronic certificate illustrated with an albatross painting for printing. Age-category winners will in addition receive a high-quality albatross poster by mail suitable for framing.

Light mantled Albatross Oli Prince 

Light-mantled Albatross, photograph by Oli Prince

 John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 16 June 2020

Wild Bird Society of Japan, BirdLife national partner, offers support for World Albatross Day

Japan Wild Bird Society 

The mission of the Wild Bird Society of Japan (WBSJ), a BirdLife national partner, is given as the conservation of birds and biodiversity, and education about protection of birds, nature and biodiversity.  Founded in 1934, the society has a membership of nearly 35 000, with a staff of 75.  Key activities include protection of threatened species and their habitats, running bird sanctuaries and nature reserves, identifying Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) and spreading the importance of ecosystem and biodiversity through weekly basis birdwatching events held by 89 chapters (regional groups of members) throughout the country.

ACAP Latest News reached out earlier this year to the WBSJ.  In response, Yutaka Yamamoto of the Society’s Conservation Division replied to say: “We will support a World Albatross Day, to be held on 19 June each year”.

Short tailed Albatrosses by Hiroshi Hasegawa

A Vulnerable Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus on Torishima, photograph by Hiroshi Hasegawa

With thanks to Yutaka Yamamoto, Conservation Division, Wild Bird Society of Japan

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 15 June 2020

Day One of ‘World Albatross Week 2020’. Leigh Wolfaardt creates a special artwork in celebration

 Wanderers for WAD2020 Leigh Wolfaardt 1

‘Wandering Albatross’ by Leigh Wolfaardt

Leigh Wolfaardt is a South African artist and illustrator who lives close to nature and the ocean on a farm in the Western Cape Province.  A graduate of the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art, she has lived for five years in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)*, where she came face to face with – and painted – albatrosses for the first time (click here).  A summer research visit to South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur)* with her husband, Anton Wolfaardt (who Co-chairs ACAP’s Seabird Bycatch Working Group) brought her into contact with breeding Wandering Albatrosses on Albatross and Prion Islands.  She tells ACAP Latest News that she has a particular interest in the wild and spectacular environments of islands, finding these isolated havens great sources of inspiration for her art.

 Leigh Wolfaardt.Studio portrait

Leigh Wolfaardt in her studio

Leigh has previously written to ACAP Latest News in support of this week’s inaugural World Albatross Day: “Albatrosses are truly magnificent creatures, an absolute wonder and delight to observe in flight, gliding effortlessly above the waves.  They are a never-ending source of inspiration for my art.  World Albatross Day provides an important opportunity to promote awareness of these wonderful, but highly threatened, denizens of the oceans and skies.”

Wanderers for WAD2020 Leigh Wolfaardt 2
 Leigh carefully researches new artworks with the aid of field guides

She has now produced a new artwork illustrating aspects of the life cycle of the Wandering Albatross, from egg to chick to adults displaying on land and in their element at sea.  She describes her work: “To celebrate World Albatross Day on the 19th of June, I have just completed my study of one of the most awe-inspiring birds on this earth, the magnificent Wandering Albatross which has an impressive wingspan of up to three metres.  Watching them gliding effortlessly over the waves of the South Atlantic is a truly magical sight.”

Limited edition art prints sized 30 x 38 cm of 'Wandering Albatross' will soon (COVID-19 dependent) be available for online purchase.

With grateful thanks to Leigh Wolfaardt for her support of albatross conservation.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 15 June 2020

*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 National Audubon Society looks forward to celebrating World Albatross Day

 National Audubon Society

The National Audubon Society is the national partner of BirdLife International in the United States.  Founded in 1905, the National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. This mission is realized through coordinating the network activities of nearly 500 local chapters and 1.7 million members.

Through its Seabird Restoration Program, Audubon works to reverse the decline of seabird populations caused by the overfishing of prey, climate change and pollution by focusing on sustainable fisheries management, restoring, protecting and creating new seabird sanctuaries and marine protected areas, and by addressing declining populations.

Anna Weinstein Ewan Burns 

Anna Weinstein, Director of Marine Conservation, National Audubon Society; photograph by Ewan Burns

Anna Weinstein, National Audubon Society’s Director of Marine Conservation, writes to ACAP Latest News:

“The National Audubon Society is looking forward to celebrating the very first World Albatross Day this year.  In my home state of California, our members cherish our three species of North Pacific albatrosses which ply our waters from the Aleutian Islands, throughout the U.S. West Coast, and into Baja California.  I am proud of the steps our fisheries managers have taken to reduce the bycatch of albatrosses, cease the use of destructive gear types, and help restore albatross breeding islands.

Now, our nation must join the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels in order to help protect the 31 magnificent species of ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels around the world.”

With thanks to Rachel Guillory, Communications Manager, Coasts, National Audubon Society.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 14 June 2020

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