United States releases State of the Birds report UPDATED


The USA Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has this week released the first-ever report on the state of USA birds (click here). The report reveals troubling declines of bird populations over the past 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of US ecosystems.

At least 39% of USA bird species restricted to ocean habitats are declining and almost half are of conservation concern.  Management policies and sustainable fishing regulations are considered essential by the report to ensure the health of the oceans.


The report states that mortality from incidental capture in commercial fisheries is the most significant source of mortality for Black-footed Phoebastria nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis albatrosses.  Regulations and voluntary measures to minimize bycatch have been established for USA fisheries in Alaska and Hawaii, resulting in significant decreases in mortality, including for the Short-tailed Albatross P. albatrus. To address these problems, the report considers international efforts, such as by the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP), can set a standard for cooperative management of seabirds.


At the Third Session of the Meeting of Parties, to be held in Bergen, Norway from 27 April to 1 May 2009, ACAP will consider a proposal jointly made by Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom to include the three North Pacific albatrosses of the genus Phoebastria within the Agreement (click here and open Doc 26 on proposed amendments to Annex 1).


Click here for ACAP Species Assessments for the three North Pacific Albatrosses.


For commentary visit:









North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee 2009. The State of the Birds, United States of America, 2009. Washington, DC.: U.S. Department of Interior. 36 pp.

Posted by John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 21 March 2009, updated 29 March 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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