Albatross Task Force - An informative talk by Oliver Yates

Monday 6 November 2017

2 November 2017

Today we enjoyed a lecture by Oliver Yates, a newcomer to Epping Forest branch. He had been a Project Manager for Birdlife International and his talk covered his 12 years experience spent in South America where he helped to manage the Albatross Task Force. It had been found by studies of ringed birds that not only had the albatross population declined over the last 30 years, but more seriously, the rate of decline had accelerated over the last 15 years.

The albatross has 22 species and the largest have a wing span of 3 metres and a weight of 20 kilogrammes.  The reason for the decline had been identified as damage caused by professional fishing undertaken by several countries in South America and Australasia.  At first the fishing industry was reluctant to accept responsibility but eventually took the advice provided by experts within Birdlife International.  Over the last 5 years the rate of decline has been nullified and there is every chance the number of birds will increase.  When an albatross can live for over 60 years (the oldest on record achieved 63 years) it is evident that an improvement in their life chances is very welcome.  Oliver’s talk was expertly narrated and beautifully illustrated by stunning photography.

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