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Grey-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered A4bd 
Vulnerable A4bd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Endangered
2012 Vulnerable
2010 Vulnerable
2008 Vulnerable
2007 Vulnerable
2005 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2003 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

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) 1,800 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 78,600,000 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 1,800 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 250000 medium Estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing medium -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 30 - - -
Population justification: There are an estimated c.95,000 pairs breeding per year of this biennially breeding species, based on annual breeding population estimates of 47,674 pairs on South Georgia in 2004 (Poncet et al. 2006), 17,187 pairs in Chile in 2003 (Robertson et al. 2007), 7,905 pairs on Kerguelen in 1985 (Weimerskirch et al. 1988), 7,800 pairs on Campbell Island (Moore 2004), 6,709 pairs on Marion Island in 2013 (ACAP unpubl. data), 5,946 on Crozet in 1982 (Jouventin et al. 1984), 2,000 pairs on Prince Edward Island in 2009 (Ryan et al. 2009) and 69 pairs on Macquarie Island in 2013 (ACAP unpubl. data). This is thought to be equivalent to at least 250,000 mature individuals (Croxall and Gales 1998, Brooke 2004).
Trend justification: At South Georgia, the population is estimated to have declined by 25% between 1977 and 2004 (Poncet et al. 2006; R. Phillips verbally 2012), which equates to a projected decline of 85% if declines continued at this rate over three generations. On Campbell Island, data from 2004 suggest that the population declined by over 75% between 1940 – 2004 (Moore 2004; Nel et al. 2002), which would equate to a 95% decline over three generations. However, recent unpublished information suggests that this population underwent a major decline until 1997 but has since stabilised (W. Misiak in litt. 2013). Population trends are unknown for Chile, Iles Kerguelen and Iles Crozet (representing around one third of the global population). Also, in contrast to South Georgia and Campbell Island, the population on Marion Island has reported a 1.2% annual population increase from 1988-2011 (ACAP 2012). Combining these data (see attached spreadsheet), even if the Chilean, Iles Kerguelen and Iles Crozet colonies are assumed to be stable, the data from South Georgia and Campbell Island result in a projected global population decline of 65.4% over three generations. Given the uncertainty around these estimates, particularly the likely future trends, and the long trend period, a decline of 50-79% over 90 years is provisionally estimated.

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    
French Southern Territories Native Extant Yes      
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) Native Extant   Yes    
Namibia Native Extant   Yes    
New Zealand Native Extant Yes      
Panama Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Peru Unknown Extant        
South Africa Native Extant Yes      
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Native Extant Yes      
St Helena (to UK) Native Extant   Yes    
Uruguay Native Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Antarctica Atlantic, Antarctic 10 - Marine site factsheet
Antarctica Atlantic, Antarctic 11 - Marine site factsheet
Antarctica Atlantic, Antarctic 12 - Marine site factsheet
Antarctica Atlantic, Antarctic 13 - Marine site factsheet
Antarctica Atlantic, Antarctic 14 - Marine site factsheet
Antarctica Pacific, Antarctic 1 - Marine site factsheet
Antarctica Pacific, Antarctic 2 - Marine site factsheet
Argentina Islas Georgias del Sur site factsheet
Australia Macquarie Island site factsheet
Chile Islas Diego Ramírez y Rocas Norte site factsheet
Chile Islas Ildefonso site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île de l'Est site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île de la Possession 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
High Seas Atlantic, Antarctic 19 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 36 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 37 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 47 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southeast 20 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southeast 27 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southeast 29 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southeast 30 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southeast 31 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Pacific, Southeast 32 - 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

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 - 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
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation

Utilisation

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Thalassarche chrysostoma. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2014.

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 Endangered
Family Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
Species name author (Forster, 1785)
Population size 250000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,800 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species