Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hot spots for cool birds

10.11.2004


Global research highlighting the most important areas for albatross migration and breeding may yet help save these magical birds from extinction.

Satellite tracking data for 16 species of albatross and three petrel species, all of them threatened by commercial and pirate longline fishing, have been collated by BirdLife International, an alliance of conservation groups. Its report, Tracking Ocean Wanderers, highlights areas where longline fleets are putting seabirds at most risk. The report is a unique collaboration between scientists worldwide and should help determine action governments take to stop albatrosses and petrels becoming extinct.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, a keen advocate of the continuing campaign to protect the albatross has sent a letter of support for the project. In the letter, The Prince says: “I simply refuse to accept that these remarkable birds should be allowed to slide quietly into extinction, and particularly not when the damage is entirely man-made and easily preventable.” Commenting directly on the report, The Prince continues: “It brings together real data for the first time to show us where these gravely threatened birds are roving the oceans, enabling us to identify where they are most vulnerable and to safeguard their critical habitat.”



Tracking Ocean Wanderers is being published as parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) meet for the first time, in Tasmania, this week. More than 300,000 seabirds, including 100,000 albatrosses, die as bycatch at the hands of longline fleets every year. This has left all 21 albatross species officially classed as under global threat of extinction. Lines of up to 80 miles (130 kilometres), each carrying thousands of baited hooks, lure the birds, which are dragged under and drowned. These slow-breeding seabirds are being lost faster than they can repopulate.

The report highlights four key findings:

  • Hotspots where concentrations of both longliners and seabirds occur are identified. These include the waters around New Zealand and South-East Australia, the South-West Indian Ocean, South Atlantic and North Pacific.
  • The importance of coastal shelf areas for albatrosses and petrels whilst breeding, and of highly productive oceanic regions such as the Humboldt Current, the Patagonian Shelf, the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone, and the Benguela Current.
  • The differences in foraging areas used by breeding and non-breeding adults, and young and mature birds. Brooding albatrosses rely on foraging grounds close to breeding sites and, as chicks grow, the range of adult breeding birds extends.
  • The huge distances travelled on migration by some species; the northern royal albatross flies up to 1,800 kilometres in 24 hours and the grey-headed albatross can circle the globe in 42 days.

Cleo Small, International Marine Policy Officer at BirdLife International said: “Identifying areas where albatrosses and fishermen overlap is a crucial conservation step. To save these birds from extinction, the fishing industry, government and conservationists need to collaborate to implement simple, innovative and effective initiatives to reduce seabird mortality across all oceanic waters, regardless of their jurisdiction. “This research could not be more timely. It will focus minds on exactly what needs to be done to save these magnificent seabirds and where that action is most urgent.”

John Croxall, Head of Conservation Biology, British Antarctic Survey said: “The data, and the results presented in this report, will be of immense assistance in developing the work of the new ACAP.”

Cath Harris | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rspb.org.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>