Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur) gets Conservation Action Plans for its decreasing albatross populations

Populations of ACAP-listed Wandering Diomedea exulans, Black-browed Thalassarche melanophris and Grey-headed T. chrysostoma Albatrosses breeding at South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur)* are in decline as set out in a publication this month in the journal Polar Biology (click here).

The main cause for these declines has been attributed to incidental mortality associated with fisheries operating outside of the island’s maritime zone.  As a result of these declines the three albatrosses on the island have been designated as ‘Priority Populations’ by ACAP.

Conservation Action Plans for the three albatrosses have now been produced “to serve as a framework to guide, in an informed, prioritised and co-ordinated manner, actions required to improve the conservation status of [the islands’] albatross populations”.  A summary plan of the high priority actions is also available (click here).

Several high priority actions which are needed to invoke a step-change in the conservation fortunes of these populations have been identified which include conducting a detailed analysis of the overlap between birds and fisheries to identify highest risk fleets, areas and seasons. This work is scheduled to be conducted in collaboration with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Black browed Albtross Bird Island Richard Phillips

Black-browed Albatross on Bird Island, South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur)*, photograph by Richard Phillips

With thanks to Jennifer Lee and Anton Wolfaardt.

Summary Action Plan

Summary Conservation Action Plan for Wandering, Black-browed and Grey-headed Albatrosses Breeding at South Georgia (2016-2020)

Species Specific Action Plans

Conservation Action Plan for Wandering Albatrosses at South Georgia (2016-2020)

Conservation Action Plan for Black-browed Albatrosses at South Georgia (2016-2020)

Conservation Action Plan for Grey-headed Albatrosses at South Georgia (2016-2020)

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 16 January 2017

*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.