Bettors Will Get a Chance to Help Save Albatrosses

A well-known bookie is teaming up with enviros in a creative effort to help save albatrosses, sea birds that are increasingly threatened by a fishing technique called longlining, which involves the use of tens of thousands of baited hooks dragged behind trawlers for 60 miles or more. Conservationists estimate that as many as 100,000 albatrosses and 200,000 other birds are killed each year when they get hooked on the fishing lines and drown. In order to raise awareness of the albatrosses’ plight and generate funds for their protection, the U.K.-based Conservation Foundation is sponsoring a “Big Bird Race” that will track some two dozen albatrosses during a five-month migration from islands off Tasmania, Australia, to South Africa’s Cape Horn. A British bookie will take bets on the albatrosses’ progress and speed, with proceeds going toward conservation efforts, and bettors will be able to track the birds’ status online.