North Pacific albatross breeding sites head for World Heritage status

The USA's Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, encompassing eight of the most important breeding sites of the Laysan Phoebastria immutabilis and Black-footed P. nigripes Albatrosses in the north-western chain of Hawaiian islands, is likely to become a World Heritage Site next year, adding a further level of international protection to these two ACAP-listed species.

This month the monument is being evaluated by UNESCO, on behalf of the World Heritage Convention.  This action follows the USA submitting its nomination in January this year, following placement on its Tentative List (a necessary prerequisite) a year previously (click here for the latest news).

Laysans and Black-foots also breed on the Ogasawara Islands, which Japan placed on its Tentative List for World Heritage status in 2007). It now intends nominating the island group to the Convention in 2010. Click here and here for more information.

As well as these initiatives by Japan and the USA, Mexico's Archipíelago de Revillagigedo, home to small numbers of Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses on Clarión and San Benedicto Islands, are also on that country's World Heritage Tentative List from 2008. The island group already has an international status as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 21 August 2009

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.

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