Bird Of The Year – Voting Could Help Save The Antipodean Albatross
A vote for Antipodean albatrosses in Bird of the Year 2020 https://www.birdoftheyear.org.nz could help save the species. This magnificent bird is in grave danger of extinction from longline fishing, especially from fleets operating in waters beyond New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“If New Zealanders make some noise and show they care about this albatross, it will be easier to get traction with the international fishing companies”, says Janice Molloy of Southern Seabirds.
The Department of Conservation has just released new estimates that show 35,000 Antipodean albatrosses have lost their lives since 2004. More females than males are dying because they feed in the danger zones where there is intensive fishing. “A tragedy is unfolding on the breeding grounds - year after year so many male birds return to the island and wait at their nest for a mate who will never return.” says Janice.
But it’s not too late to turn this around – the population can recover. And unlike many environmental problems this one has a solution. The challenge is getting the solutions used, and a groundswell of public interest will help convince fishers to make the effort.
If the Antipodean albatross wins Bird of the Year, we can honestly say to the fishing companies that Kiwis really care about this albatross. A vote will make a real difference.