Imagine that you are a wandering albatross, the largest flying bird in the world. You cover vast tracts of the Southern Ocean, flying up to 15,000 kilometres on a single foraging trip.
- Ask students to write about where the albatross have been and what they have seen. Describe the return to their lifelong partner at Macquarie Island, narrowly avoiding being caught and drowned on a tuna long-line.
- To get a sense of the size of the wingspan of a wandering albatross (up to 3.5 metres!), have students measure the size of their 'wingspan'. There is comprehensive information on the Australian Antarctic Division's website. Read the article Seabird mortality in longline fisheries. See also the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service's Threatened Species information. The Cry Of The Ancient Mariner, an article originally published in Time, and The Albatross Conundrum are also useful.
For comprehensive information on the current status of international albatross conservation see the Agreement for the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels.