23 Feb 2020

International agreement to protect albatross from extinction

2:28 pm on 23 February 2020

New Zealand's efforts to protect the endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross during its 100,000 kilometre annual migration have paid off.

The first albatross back this season is an 8-year-old male which arrived on Sunday.

File photo. Photo: Supplied / Otago Peninsula Trust

One hundred and thirty countries have now agreed to protect the bird at a conference held in India, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said the agreement would help reduce Antipodean albatross from being inadvertently caught by fishing vessels.

"New Zealanders care deeply about backing nature and backing birds like Antipodean albatross - it is a remarkable species, flying incredible distances every year, and is taonga/a treasure to Māori," Eugenie Sage said.

She said there were now only 9050 breeding pairs, which meant the species could be extinct within the next 20 years.

Sage said today's agreement showed increasing international consensus on the need to save seabirds from extinction.

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