World Albatross Day, 19 June 2020
On 19 June the first ever World Albatross Day will be celebrated online around the globe. The day honours these magnificent birds and highlights the ongoing conservation crisis they face.
The theme for 2020 is ‘eradicating island pests’, since many albatross species have to contend with threats from introduced mice, rats, cats and pigs on their breeding islands. In recent years, pests have been removed from subantarctic Antipodes and Macquarie Islands, and work continues to eliminate the ‘killer’ house mice that attack and kill breeding albatrosses and their chicks on Gough and Midway Islands.
But introduced pests are not the only threat for albatrosses. Interaction with fishing gear, in domestic and high seas fisheries, causes the death of thousands of albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters every year.
The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, ACAP, has inaugurated World Albatross Day to raise awareness of these birds worldwide, since a global effort is required to protect these global travellers. The day also falls on the date of the signing of the Agreement 20 years ago.
ACAP currently has 13 member countries (known as Parties) and coordinates international activities to mitigate threats to albatross populations through legislation and education. This effort is supported by several non-member states and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). ACAP currently lists 31 species of albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters, most of which have a global threatened status.
Many communities around the world have planned activities to celebrate the day, although because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most will be shared online.
Resources have been made available on the ACAP website for anyone to use for online promotion and media releases about the day. They include free posters, videos, lectures, species summaries, puzzles, games and competitions. The
international Great Albicake Bake Off promises to be a delicious way to recognise these iconic birds.
ACAP Secretariat, Level 2, 119 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
+61 3 6165 6674