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Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered  
Vulnerable A4bd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Vulnerable
2010 Vulnerable
2008 Vulnerable
2007 Vulnerable
2005 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2003 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 64,700,000 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 1,900 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 20100 medium 2007
Population trend Decreasing good -
Number of subpopulations 5 - - -
Largest subpopulation 1001-10000 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 23.3 - - -
Population justification: In 1998, the total annual breeding population was estimated at 8,500 pairs, equivalent to c.28,000 mature individuals (Gales 1998). However, current estimates are 1,553 pairs on South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) (Poncet et al. 2006), 1,800 pairs on the Prince Edward Island (Ryan et al. 2009), c.2,056 pairs on Marion Island (R. Crawford in litt. 2010), c.340 pairs on Iles Crozet (CNRS Chinzè Monitoring Database 2010), c.354 pairs in Iles Kerguelen (CNRS Chinzè Monitoring Database 2011), and 4 pairs on Macquarie Island (DPIWPE 2010, unpublished data), making a total of c. 6,107 annual breeding pairs. Using the same ratio as Gales (1998) for estimating the number of mature individuals, this would equate to approximately 20,100 mature individuals.
Trend justification: At South Georgia, this species has declined by 1.8% per annum over the past 20 years, and there has been an acceleration in the rate of decrease to over 4% per annum since 1997 (J. Cooper and J. P. Croxall in litt. 2000; Poncet et al. 2006). Overall the South Georgia population has declined by 30% between 1984-2004 (Poncet et al. 2006). On Bird Island, adult and post-fledging survival has decreased since the mid 1980s (British Antarctic Survey unpublished data). On the Crozet Islands, the population stabilised following rapid declines during 1970-1986, but is now declining again (Weimerskirch et al. 1997; Delord et al. 2008). Low juvenile recruitment is believed to be delaying recovery (Weimerskirch et al. 2006). On the Prince Edward Islands the population is now stable or slightly decreasing (Nel et al. 2002b, 2002c; Crawford et al. 2003; Ryan et al. 2003; P. Ryan in litt. 2008), with the exception of Marion Island, where the population is thought to have increased 0.21% per annum 1998-2010 (R. Crawford in litt. 2012). Overall declines are estimated to exceed 30% over 70 years. However, the long generation time of this species makes it difficult to determine the most appropriate trend period for predicting population trends into the future.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Angola Vagrant Extant        
Antarctica Native Extant   Yes    
Argentina Native Extant   Yes    
Australia Native Extant Yes      
Bouvet Island (to Norway) Unknown Extant        
Brazil Native Extant   Yes    
Chile Native Extant   Yes    
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Native Extant   Yes    
Fiji Vagrant Extant   Yes    
French Polynesia Vagrant Extant        
French Southern Territories Native Extant Yes      
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) Native Extant   Yes    
Italy Vagrant Extant        
Japan Vagrant Extant        
Madagascar Native Extant   Yes    
Mauritius Vagrant Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant   Yes    
Namibia Native Extant   Yes    
New Zealand Native Extant   Yes    
Norfolk Island (to Australia) Native Extant   Yes    
Panama Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Réunion (to France) Vagrant Extant        
South Africa Native Extant Yes      
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Native Extant Yes      
St Helena (to UK) Native Extant   Yes    
Tonga Unknown Extant        
Uruguay Native Extant   Yes    
USA Vagrant Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Argentina Islas Georgias del Sur site factsheet
Australia Macquarie Island site factsheet
French Southern Territories Baie Larose site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île aux Cochons site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île de l'Est site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île de la Possession site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île Foch, Île Sainte Lanne Gramont and Île Howe site factsheet
French Southern Territories Îles des Apôtres site factsheet
French Southern Territories Îles Leygues site factsheet
French Southern Territories Îles Nuageuses and Île Clugny site factsheet
French Southern Territories Péninsule Courbet site factsheet
French Southern Territories Péninsule Rallier du Baty site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 28 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 39 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 47 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 8 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 12 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 13 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 14 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 34 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 40 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Eastern 22 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Western 10 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Western 11 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Western 25 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 10 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 11 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 12 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 13 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 14 - Marine site factsheet
South Africa Prince Edward Islands Special Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia - mainland, islands, islets and stacks site factsheet
Uruguay Atlantic Ocean and Rio de la Plata mouth site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subantarctic major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources / Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Very Rapid Declines High Impact: 8
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Domestic Cat (Felis catus) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Garbage & solid waste Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Diomedea exulans. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size 20100 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 64,700,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species