Searching the literature: ACAP receives help from a university library

The ACAP Secretariat is a small one, being formed of a core of only two full-time posts (Executive Secretary and Science Officer), supported by several others working part-time or in a honorary capacity (click here). Much of the Secretariat's work, especially that of the Science Officer, requires an up-to-date knowledge of the specialized scientific literature on albatrosses and petrels and their habitats. But without an established library of such literature, and expensive subscriptions to paper and on-line scientific journals, the Secretariat must rely on support received from outside both to keep abreast of the latest findings and to research previous work.

An example of the need to be kept informed is represented by the Species Assessments of ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels that have been added to this web site (click here). So far, up-to-date assessments prepared under the direction and edited by the Science Officer are available for all but two of the currently 29 ACAP-listed species. It is intended that assessments for the Black-footed Phoebastria nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis Albatrosses, now in their final draft form, will be added to the web site soon.

It is thus a pleasure for the ACAP Secretariat to acknowledge the support that has come from the many individuals and bodies in supplying it with PDFs of recent publications to allow these assessments and other ACAP documents to be prepared. Foremost among this support has been that of the Niven Library of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town in South Africa. The Niven Librarian, Margaret Koopman has been assiduous in supplying ACAP's Information Officer with PDFs of scientific papers on ACAP-listed species for featuring on this web site and for forwarding to the Secretariat in Hobart.

Margaret Koopman next to the recent literature section of the Niven Library, below a portrait of the library's benefactor, Cecily Niven.  Photograph by John Cooper

This ongoing support is much appreciated and was recently marked when ACAP's Information Officer presented a small gift to Margaret in the Niven Library, considered by many to be the best ornithological library in the southern hemisphere and most probably among the top five or so in the World.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 5 March 2010

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.

About ACAP

ACAP Secretariat

119 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000

Tel: +61 3 6165 6674