The Big Bird Race ended in tragedy

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Mother Nature has been the harshest of judges and all 17 albatrosses competiting in the race from Australia to South Africa have died along the 10,000km route.

The Big Bird Race, organized by Ladbrokes, the Conservation Foundation and the Tasmanian Government, aimed to raise international awareness about the dangers of longline fishing to the albatross and other marine life.

Ladbrokes allowed punters to bet on the birds\’ chances of success in a variety of categories, with satellite transmitters used to track the juvenile albatrosses on their annual migration. 

All the net revenue generated by the race has been donated to the ‘Save the Albatross’ campaign, administered by BirdLife International. Punters have also been given the option of donating their winnings to the fund. 

While researchers expected some deaths during the three-month crossing of the Southern Ocean, this year the birds have disappeared one-by-one in unprecedented mortality.

\’Avocet\’ made it the furthest west by reaching the western coast of Australia before succumbing, like all the other birds.