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Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered  
Vulnerable D2 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Vulnerable
2010 Vulnerable
2008 Vulnerable
2006 Vulnerable
2005 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2003 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1994 Endangered
1988 Threatened

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) 9 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 47,300,000 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 9 medium
Number of locations 2 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1500-1700 medium Estimated 2007
Population trend Increasing good -
Number of subpopulations 2 - - -
Largest subpopulation 1922 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 24.1 - - -
Population justification: At the end of the 2006-2007 breeding season, the global population was estimated to be 2,364 individuals, with 1,922 birds on Torishima and 442 birds on Minami-kojima (Senkaku Islands). This estimate is based on: direct observation of breeding pairs on Torishima; an assumption on numbers of non-breeding birds; an estimate for the Minami-kojima population that is based upon a 2002 estimate and an assumption of population growth rate (which, together, puts the Minami-kojima population at about 15% of the global population [G.R. Balogh in litt. 2008]). More recently, Brazil (2009) estimates the population in Japan at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration. The population is taken here as likely to number 2,200-2,500 individuals based on these estimates, roughly equating to 1,500-1,700 mature individuals.
Trend justification: In 1954, 25 birds (including at least six pairs) were present on Torishima. Given that there are now c.426 breeding pairs on Torishima (G.R. Balogh in litt. 2008), the species has undergone an enormous increase since its rediscovery and the onset of conservation efforts.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Canada Native Extant   Yes    
China (mainland) Native Extant   Yes    
Japan Native Extant       Yes
Mexico Native Extant   Yes    
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Unknown Extant        
Philippines Unknown Extant        
Russia (Asian) Native Extant   Yes    
South Korea Native Extant   Yes    
Taiwan (China) Native Extant   Yes    
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
USA Native Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Japan Senkaku islands site factsheet
Japan Torishima island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir) site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Shantar islands site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable 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 - 150 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%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Very Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Geological events Volcanoes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Black Rat (Rattus rattus) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline 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
Wearing apparel, accessories Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Historical

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Phoebastria albatrus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/09/2014.

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 (Pallas, 1769)
Population size 1500-1700 mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 9 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species