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Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) A4bd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Near Threatened
2012 Endangered
2010 Endangered
2008 Endangered
2005 Endangered
2004 Endangered
2003 Endangered
2002 Vulnerable
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised

Species attributes

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

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 108,000,000 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 24,100
Number of locations 10 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1150000 good Estimated 2010
Population trend Decreasing medium -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 21.5 - - -
Population justification: The annual breeding population in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) was estimated at 475,500-535,000 pairs in 2010 (Wolfaardt 2012). In Chile there were 55,000 pairs on Diego Ramirez in 2003, 58,000 pairs on Ildefonso in 2012 (Robertson et al. 2013), and 15,500 pairs on Diego de Almagro in 2002 (Lawton et al. 2003). If an assumption is made that the South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) population is declining at the same rate as the colony on Bird Island (c.4% pa) then the population there may have declined to c.56,000 pairs by 2012 (ACAP unpubl. data). There are an estimated c.5,800 pairs in other populations (Antipodes, Campbell, Heard and MacDonald, Crozet, Kerguelen, Macquarie, Snares; ACAP unpubl. data), giving a total of c.700,000 pairs (1,400,000 mature individuals), very roughly equating to 2,100,000 individuals.
Trend justification: In 2010, an archipelago-wide survey was conducted for the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Both the aerial and ground-based surveys conducted in 2010 revealed an increase of at least 4% per annum between 2005 and 2010. This positive trend is supported by demographic data and an additional aerial photographic survey conducted later in the 2010 breeding season (Wolfaardt 2012). It was also concluded that the islands’ population is likely to have increased since the first archipelago-wide ground survey in 2000, and possibly even since the initial ground based surveys were conducted at Beauchêne and Steeple Jason islands in the 1980s. Population trends from Chile (15-20% of the global population) are largely unknown. On South Georgia (Georgias del Sur), which held c.13% of the global population, only a relatively crude assessment can be made of the overall population trend (using estimates from Poncet et al. 2006 and extrapolating annual declines of 4% since 2006 on Bird lsland), but these suggest a substantial decrease. Incorporating these new data, the global population appears no longer to be undergoing ongoing declines over three generations since 1980, since increases in the population at the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) outweigh declines elsewhere such as at South Georgia (Georgias del Sur). The extrapolated trend over a three generation period (65 years) commencing in 1980 is a 246% increase, however there remains a considerable degree of uncertainty over population trends for a significant part of the global population, and this figure is heavily influenced by the extrapolation over 65 years of data from a ten-year period. In addition, high levels of mortality of this species are reported from longline and trawl fisheries in the South Atlantic. For these reasons, declines approaching 30% over three generations are precautionarily suspected until further data are forthcoming.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Angola Native Extant   Yes  
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    
Denmark Vagrant Extant      
Ecuador Unknown Extant      
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Native Extant Yes    
Fiji Vagrant Extant   Yes  
French Polynesia Unknown Extant      
French Southern Territories Native Extant Yes    
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) Native Extant Yes    
Madagascar Unknown Extant      
Mozambique Unknown Extant      
Namibia Native Extant   Yes  
New Zealand Native Extant Yes    
Norfolk Island (to Australia) Unknown Extant      
Peru Native Extant Yes    
South Africa Native Extant   Yes  
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Native Extant Yes    
St Helena (to UK) Unknown Extant      
Uruguay Native Extant   Yes  

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Argentina Islas Georgias del Sur site factsheet
Argentina Islas Malvinas site factsheet
Argentina Villa marítima El Cóndor site factsheet
Australia Macquarie Island site factsheet
Chile Guamblin Island site factsheet
Chile Isla Diego de Almagro site factsheet
Chile Isla Evout site factsheet
Chile Isla Rapa Nui site factsheet
Chile Islas Diego Ramírez y Rocas Norte site factsheet
Chile Islas Ildefonso site factsheet
Chile Islote Albatros - Seno Almirantazgo site factsheet
Chile Islote Evangelista site factsheet
Chile Islote Leonard site factsheet
Chile Lago Budi site factsheet
Chile Puaucho site factsheet
Chile Quinchele Inland and surrouding sea site factsheet
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Beauchêne Island site factsheet
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Bird Island site factsheet
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Hope Harbour, West Falkland site factsheet
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Jason Islands Group site factsheet
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Keppel Island site factsheet
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) New Island Group site factsheet
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Saunders Island site factsheet
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) West Point Island Group site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île de l'Est site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île des Pingouins site factsheet
French Southern Territories Îles des Apôtres site factsheet
French Southern Territories Îles Nuageuses and Île Clugny site factsheet
French Southern Territories Northern part of Péninsule Loranchet site factsheet
French Southern Territories Southern coast of Péninsule Jeanne d'Arc site factsheet
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) Heard and McDonald Islands site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 19 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 37 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 40 - Marine site factsheet
Peru Reserva Nacional de Paracas 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 Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands 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 - 300 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:
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Geological events Volcanoes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Unknown Past Impact
Stresses
None
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Domestic Cat (Felis catus) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Thalassarche melanophrys. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/04/2014.

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 Near Threatened
Family Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
Species name author (Temminck, 1828)
Population size 1150000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 108,000,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species