06 JUL 2018: Five hundred miles off the coast of New Zealand, the Chatham Islands are home to the last 5,000 breeding pairs of the Chatham Island albatross.

During April and July, most fly 6,000 miles to the southwest coast of South America, following the current north to Peru. To bolster the population of the birds, the Chatham Islands Taiko Trust has ferried 300 Chatham albatross chicks to a predator-proof enclosure on the main island.

This video chronicles the harrowing adventure through the eyes of author and novelist Jonathan Franzen, photographer Thomas Peschak, and Mike Bell of the Chatham Islands Translocation Project.

The global population of seabirds has dropped by nearly 70 percent since monitoring began in the 1950s. Each of the nine orders of these birds, from transoceanic voyagers such as albatrosses to shore-hugging penguins, is facing at least one of four key threats: habitat disturbance, pollution, climate change, and commercial fishing. National Geographic is partnering with the National Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to celebrate the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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