The Albatross and Petrel Agreement (ACAP) has been working towards the inauguration of a Word Albatross Day next year, to be celebrated annually on 19 June. This is the date ACAP was signed in Canberra, Australia in 2001 (click here). An intersessional 'WAD Group' is coming up with ideas to increase awareness of World Albatross Day between now and June 2020. So far the group has issued a 'banner challenge' that requests field teams working with albatrosses at breeding localities to make a suitably-worded banner advertising the 19 June 2020 event and drawing attention to the birds’ conservation crisis. The first such banner has been displayad on Gough Island at the edge of a study colony of Critically Endangered Tristan Albatrosses Diomedea dabbenena on Gough Island; more are expected to follow from other islands once the austral summer breeding season commences (click here). A companion 'banner at sea' challenge is now being planned for observers on fishing vessels, tourist ships and seabird-watching 'pelagic' trips.
Another on-going World Albatross Day initiative are the supporting quotes being requested from a wide swathe of people who have been involved in some way with albatross research and conservation. These quotes, from artists, authors, managers and researchers alike, are currently appearing on this website's home page, being changed weekly. To date, several artists approached for quotes have been supportive, also allowing their artwork to be freely used by the Agreement; plans to collaborate with more are underway. Notably, Marc Parchow Figueiredo, a cartoonist residing in Portugal, who has previously drawn special cartoons featuring his iconic Qual Albatroz birds to mark ACAP events (click here), has now produced a three-panel series to mark World Albatross Day that expresses his special brand of humour (click here). The three panels follow, marking the first time they can be viewed as one.
At ACAP's request Marc has willingly produced versions of his 'WAD cartoons' in his home language as below. Although Portuguese is not an official ACAP language it is the one spoken in Brazil, which has been an active Party to ACAP since December 2008. Additionally, Portugal is a range state for the ACAP-listed (and Critically Endangered) Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus, as birds on migration are known to enter Portuguese waters - where they have been reported killed by purse seines and set nets (click here). It is hoped to be able to also post the cartoon series with French and Spanish texts here, so they can be enjoyed in all three official languages of the Agreement.
The 'WAD Group' has a number of other ideas under discussion. ACAP Latest News will continue to report on them as the first World Albatross Day on 19 June 2020 approaches.
With grateful thanks to Marc Parchow Figuiredo.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 16 August 2019