As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Huge database shows seabirds' incredible journeys around the world's oceans

Posted on: 27 Oct 2015
The Global Seabird Tracking Database – one of the biggest marine conservation collaborations in the world – has just passed 5 million records.

The announcement of this landmark figure was made at the World Seabird Conference, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. The database – originally called ‘Tracking Ocean Wanderers’ – was established in 2003, when records of the movements of 16 species of albatross and petrel were brought together for the first time. From albatrosses to penguins, the database now holds more than five times as many species, provided by over 120 research institutions.

Seabirds have some of the most extreme and fascinating life histories in the animal kingdom. We know that Arctic Terns have the longest migration of any animal, migrating from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again in a single year, and covering more than 50,000 miles in the process. Others such as Wandering Albatross may spend up to six years at sea before returning to its colony.

The information in the tracking database is helping the global marine community gain more insights into the lives of seabirds in all the world’s oceans. Each new study adds to our knowledge of how and why seabirds use the oceans, often surprising us in the distances covered, the routes that are travelled and the speed with which they get there.

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