The Marine Flyways of long-distance migratory albatross and petrel species
Flyways encompass the geographic areas used by migrating birds throughout their annual cycle and are an essential measure to determine the common routes used by multiple populations and species, and ultimately to promote their conservation by facilitating the collaboration between international stakeholders along the flyways. The eight major flyways presently recognised are poorly representative of seabird species, and identifying marine flyways, particularly within the High Seas, is a key conservation measure with applications such as analysis of spatial overlaps with threats such as long-line fisheries. Here, we present the preliminary progress to identify marine flyways for long distance seabird migrants. Tracking data from seabird researchers are being collated, and as of April 2023 the dataset encompasses the four key ocean basins (Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern), and includes 44 species of which seven species are listed by the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). These seven species represent key Southern Hemispheric flyways that will be delineated, including longitudinal movements between the Brazilian and Benguela Currents and the Tasman Sea and Humboldt Current, and also partial or full circumnavigations in the Southern Ocean. New analytical techniques are presently being developed to establish repeatable methods for flyway identification, and the full results will be presented in October 2023 during the Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CMS COP14).