Fwd: Albatross' migration proves worth a flutter

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Fwd: Albatross' migration proves worth a flutter
From: Paul Taylor <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 10:11:57 +1100
From the ABC news website (


Albatross' migration proves worth a flutter

Conservationists have developed an innovative way to attract
world-wide attention to the plight of the albatross.

Punters will soon be able to place bets on the migratory success
of the bird.

Eighteen shy albatross from three islands off Tasmania will be
fitted with small tracking devices.

When they begin their migratory journey to South Africa in March,
the birds will be monitored by satellite and their movements
broadcast via the Internet.

Using the resources of one of the world's largest betting
organisations, the odds of each bird reaching its destination
will be determined on the basis of condition, genetics and
weather conditions.

Conservationist Tim Nevard says the primary aim of the exercise
will be research but formulating the odds for each bird has also
involved a fair amount of science.

"It will be based on the condition of the birds," he said.

"Some will be in good condition exactly like ... a race horse in
a ring - you don't place your bet until you see what condition
the horse is in.

"Some of it will be based on our knowledge of their parents - we
know a reasonable amount about some of the parentage of some of
the birds and so obviously there's a bit of form there and some
of it will be based on the weather."

Mr Nevard says the plight of the albatross will be highlighted
to a new audience.

"We have the potential of drawing in literally millions of people,"
Mr Nevard said.

Money raised from the bets will be donated to seabird conservation.

   Paul Taylor                           Veni, vidi, tici -
                    I came, I saw, I ticked.

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