The overall objective of this project is to link habitat preference, at-sea activity patterns and detections from novel bird-borne radars to quantify interactions of tracked wandering albatrosses with legal and IUU fishing vessels. This will greatly improve on previous coarse-scale analyses of overlap with fishing effort to clearly identify areas and periods of highest susceptibility to bycatch for different life-history classes (age, sex, breeding status). This is an innovative project and has the potential to be a “game-changer” given the capacity for identifying IUU vessels from bird-borne radar, and the potential future extension of the approach to other species. This work is led by the British Antarctic Survey in partnership with BirdLife International, and is funded by Darwin PLUS.
In December 2019, satellite-tags (PTTs) made by Sextant Technology were attached to wandering albatross chicks prior to their departure from Bird Island, and their locations are shown on the following map (updated three times a day). The tags use the Argos system, and have on-board GPS and a sensor for the ship automatic identification system (AIS). Proximity of a bird to a vessel is indicated by coloured dots – yellow (distant), orange (medium range), red (close).
Unfortunately, the batteries did not recharge as expected from the solar panels on the devices, and the last locations were received in early February 2020.
Click on a track to find out how far the bird has gone from Bird Island.
 Pardo, D., Forcada, J., Wood, A.G., Tuck, G.N., Ireland, L., Pradel, R., Croxall, J.P. and Phillips, R.A. (2017). Additive effects of climate and fisheries drive ongoing declines in multiple albatross species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the Unites States of America 114, E10829-E10837.
 Phillips RA, Gales R, Baker GB, Double MC, Favero M, Quintana F, Tasker ML, Weimerskirch H, Uhart M, Wolfaardt A. (2016). The conservation status and priorities for albatrosses and large petrels. Biological Conservation, 201:169-83.
 Dias MP, Martin R, Pearmain EJ, Burfield IJ, Small C, Phillips RA, Yates O, Lascelles B, Borboroglu PG, Croxall JP. (2019). Threats to seabirds: a global assessment. Biological Conservation 237. 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.06.033.
The overall objective of this project is to link habitat preference, at-sea activity patterns and detections from novel bird-borne radars to quantify interactions of tracked wandering albatrosses with legal and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels.
12 June, 2020
A new study of albatrosses has found that wind plays a bigger role in their decision to take flight than previously thought, and due to their differences in body size, …