When you visit the Southern Ocean we know you will be in awe of large mammals and penguins. But what about the massive Albatross soaring above the waves and diving for food?
The wingspan of these incredible birds can reach up to 11ft (3.5 metres) resembling the size of a 6ft man. This magnificent seabird can travel long distances with their structurally adapted wings and enormous wingspan. Their specialised gliding methods (rather than wing flapping) conserves their muscles and energy so they can go the distance.
When you see the Albatross in Antarctica, it’s easy to assume that like most birds, it is not threatened in any way. Surprisingly, seabirds are one of the world’s most threatened group of birds. The majestic Albatross is in serious trouble. Long line fishing and trawl cables are responsible for over 100,000 deaths every year. That’s one bird every five minutes.
Extinction currently threatens 17 of the 22 species. Bird Life International has deployed a team of instructors known as the Albatross Taskforce. The purpose of this taskforce is to work alongside fishermen and implement strategies to reduce the threat. These strategies include bird-scaring lines, setting baited hooks under the cover of darkness and weighting hook lines to help them sink promptly out of reach of scavenging birds. The results have been encouraging with virtually zero accidental by-catch off the Chilean coast last year. There is now real hope for these iconic seabirds.
Whilst Antarctic Travel Specialists are keen to open up your eyes to the beauty of Antarctica, we are equally passionate to ensure their survival, so please help Save the Albatross. For more information or to donate online to albatross conservation work, click here.