Above picture: The Wandering Albatross Infographic co-sponsored by ACAP and BirdLife South Africa

An infographic depicting the globally Vulnerable Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans has been produced to celebrate the second ever World Albatross Day on Saturday 19 June.  The infographic, produced by New Zealand-based illustrator Namasri Niumim, has been co-sponsored by the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) and BirdLife South Africa to help draw attention to the plight of the albatross on sub-Antarctic Marion Island where introduced House Mice have taken to attacking and killing its chicks.  BirdLife South Africa is working with the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) to eradicate the island’s mice in 2023, in a partnership known as the Mouse-Free Marion Project.

The infographic also draws attention to the Wandering Albatross chicks that are being killed by feral cats on the French island of Kerguelen.

A House Mouse feeds on the exposed scalp of a Wandering Albatross chick on Marion Island at night, photograph by Stefan Schoombie

ACAP has previously produced two infographics depicting the conservation threats faced by the Critically Endangered Tristan D. dabbenena and Waved Phoebastria irrorata Albatrosses in support of this year’s World Albatross Day and its chosen theme “Ensuring Albatross-friendly Fisheries”.  All three infographics are available as downloadable posters in the three ACAP official languages of English, French and Spanish.  A Portuguese version of the Tristan Albatross infographic is also available because the species regularly visits the waters of Brazil (click here).

The three infographics have been designed to help inform the general public, including school learners.  They serve to complement the more detailed and referenced ACAP Species Assessments and the more concise ACAP Species Summaries.

It is hoped that eventually all 22 species of albatrosses recognized by ACAP will have their own infographic, including for the three other albatross species that breed on Marion Island – all of whose chicks are also being attacked by mice.  The next infographic to be produced will be of the New Zealand endemic (and globally Endangered) Antipodean Albatross D. antipodensis.  This infographic will be sponsored by that country’s Department of Conservation.

With thanks to Mark Anderson, Alistair McInnes and Anton Wolfaardt of BirdLife South Africa for support, Namasri Niumim who has produced all three infographics with patience and good humour and Michelle Risi for the original concept design.  The Wandering Albatross infographic was additionally improved by comments received on drafts from Christophe Barbraud, Richard Phillips and Stephanie Prince: thanks to all.

John Cooper, Member, Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, Mouse-Free Marion Project, 19 June 2021