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Wandering with Albatross

Join the Cruise For Conservation

The iconic albatross, revered by seafarers all over the world, is in danger of extinction, as nineteen of the 21 species of these birds are now under threat due to long-lining. These graceful and majestic birds are renowned for their flying ability and the incredible distances that they travel around the Southern Ocean. Now, many species are facing extinction through accidental by-catch by the long-line fishing industry.

Heritage Expeditions has announced an exclusive opportunity to experience the albatross in its element, with the launch of the inaugural “Cruise for Conservation”.

Passengers who join the awe inspiring trip to the Subantarctic Auckland, Campbell and Snares Islands, will be able to encounter a wide variety of albatross and seabirds including an important breeding colony of Southern Royal Albatross. The expedition will be accompanied by albatross experts and biologists, including representatives from New Zealand’s Forest and Bird and the Department of Conservation. Passengers will also be helping the plight of the albatross through a donation by Heritage Expeditions of a percentage of each ticket price going toward the international Save the Albatross campaign for research into seabird biology and possible solutions to seabird bycatch.Director of Heritage Expeditions, Rodney Russ, is pleased to offer people the chance to experience the realm of the albatross for themselves.

“New Zealand plays a significant role in albatross conservation, of the world’s 21 species of albatross, fourteen of them breed within our waters. New Zealand’s position at the gateway to the Southern Ocean makes us natural guardians of the seabirds that spend their lives there,” said Mr Russ.

New Zealand is also fortunate in having the only mainland colony of albatross in the Southern Hemisphere, the Northern Royal Albatross at Taiaroa Head in Dunedin. When the chicks take off for their first flight, they will circle the Southern Ocean for four years before touching land again.

“The problem with seabird conservation is that the vast distances traveled by these ocean wanderers means that they are in effect, birds without borders, so that their protection becomes a global problem,” said Russ.The inaugural “Cruise for Conservation”, travels to the some of New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands, which are protected as World Heritage Sites. The trip involves landings on those islands and an opportunity to explore a unique and isolated area of our country, as well as informative and educational lectures on the conservation of each of the areas visited. Russ believes that to take people to the Southern Ocean and show them the albatross and other wildlife in their natural environment is a crucial part of the conservation process.

“The Southern Ocean offers seascapes and landscapes that are unique in the world, and where an enormous variety of wildlife is found,” he said. “The rich diversity of wildlife found on these remote and tiny islands, is all out of proportion to their size.”

Staff from Heritage Expeditions are planning a lecture series throughout New Zealand in September, highlighting seabird conservation issues, as well as providing information on the Cruise for Conservation, which is a week long journey on Heritage Expeditions’ ship Spirit of Enderby, from the 6th to the 12th of January, 2006.

For further information contact: Nicola Vallance, Communications and Marketing Manager, Heritage Expeditions, ph: (03) 365 3500; mobile: 027 248 5445. mailto:Nicola@heritage-expeditions.co.nz http://www.heritage-expeditions.com

4th July 2014