World Albatross Day celebrations around the world – Australia’s Antarctic Division displays a banner and eats some cakes

AAD WAD2024 Banner
Australian Antarctic Division staffers celebrate ‘WAD2024’ outside their Kingston headquarters, reusing their 2021 banner

As in previous years, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) marked World Albatross Day, this year with its theme of ‘Marine Protected Areas – Safeguarding our Oceans’, on 19 June with speeches, cakes and a group photograph at its Kingston Headquarters in Tasmania.

AAD albicake

AAD WAD2024 Cake 1
WAD2024 cakes with a Marine Protected Area theme by Andrea Polanowski (top) and Leonie Suter (below)

No ‘Bake-off’ competition was held this year, as in the past, but two ‘albicakes’ especially baked for the occasion by Andrea Polanowski and Leonie Suter, along with some other treats, were enjoyed.

Julie McInnes talks
Julie McInnes speaks to colleagues at the WAD2024 event

At the event, vertebrate biologist Julie McInnes spoke about World Albatross Day, providing an overview of its importance, mentioning some recent milestones, such as that it was now 10 years since the eradication of all the vertebrate pests on Macquarie Island and 30 years since  albatross monitoring was initiated on the island.  The WAD2024 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) theme was discussed in relation to the recently expanded Macquarie Island MPA and the current review of the Heard and MacDonald Islands MPA.  Julie also talked about the work the AAD is undertaking to collate at-sea tracking data for Macquarie Island seabirds and seals to ascertain how they are utilizing the MPA.  The need for more tracking data was then considered.  Julie is a member representing Australia of ACAP’s Population and Conservation Status, and Taxonomy Working Groups.

Aleks Terauds
Aleks Terauds (left) and Kris Carlyon undertook a 10-day hike to the south of Macquarie Island this year to see the changes in the landscape, photograph by Pete Harmsen

Aleks Terauds, AAD spatial ecologist, spoke briefly about his recent visit to Macquarie and the vegetation on the island which he says was “looking incredible”, following its recovery after the eradication of vertebrate pests.  Read  an article here and watch a video featuring Aleks here about the island’s recovery.  Aleks has also been interviewed for radio.

Maquarie Island WAD2024 banner form Melanie Wells
Striking a pose.  Macquarie Island overwinterers with their WAD2024 banner, photograph from Melanie Wells

With thanks to Mandi Livesey and Julie McInnes, Australian Antarctic Division.

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 04 July 2024

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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