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Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered A4bd 
Vulnerable A4bd;B1ab(v)+2ab(v) 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Endangered
2010 Endangered
2008 Endangered
2007 Endangered
2005 Endangered
2004 Endangered
2003 Endangered
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   Average mass 2500 g

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 1,900 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 36,200,000 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 1,900 medium
Number of locations 6-10 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 28000 medium Estimated 1998
Population trend Decreasing medium -
Number of subpopulations 5 - - -
Largest subpopulation 10000 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 30 - - -
Population justification: The total annual breeding population is estimated at c.14,000 pairs, consisting of c.5,000 pairs on Gough Island (Cuthbert and Sommer 2004a), 3,157 pairs in the Tristan da Cunha group (ACAP 2012), c.1,450 pairs on Prince Edward and 1,701 pairs on Marion Islands (Ryan et al. 2009, ACAP 2012), 2,174 pairs on the Crozet Islands (Delord 2008), fewer than five pairs on Kerguelen Island, and 300-400 pairs on Amsterdam Island (Carboneras 1992b).
Trend justification: On Possession Island (Crozet), the population declined by 58% between 1980 and 1995 (Weimerskirch and Jouventin 1998) and continues to decline, although at a slower rate (Delord et al. 2008). On Marion Island, the population declined by 25% between 1990 and 1998 (Crawford et al. 2003). On Gough Island (c. 40% global population), the population appears to have decreased by about half over 28 years (Cuthbert and Sommer 2004a), although recent counts of breeding birds on Gough in 2000, 2003 and 2005 indicate no change in breeding numbers. Limited counts have been made on Tristan and Inaccessible, and indicate a population of c. 3,157 (ACAP 2012). Overall, these declines equate to 60% over three generations (90 years), with a trend start date of 1960. However, this species, being a biennial breeder, has a highly variable breeding population between years. Better data are required from Gough and Prince Edward Islands, in particular whether the population on Prince Edward is increasing. The long life expectancy of the species makes it difficult to determine the period over which an analysis of trends should be conducted.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Antarctica Vagrant Extant        
Argentina Native Extant   Yes    
Australia Native Extant   Yes    
Brazil Native Extant   Yes    
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Vagrant Extant        
French Southern Territories Native Extant Yes      
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) Native Extant   Yes    
Mauritius Vagrant Extant        
New Zealand Vagrant Extant        
Réunion (to France) Vagrant Extant        
South Africa Native Extant Yes      
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Vagrant Extant        
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
French Southern Territories Falaises d'Entrecasteaux 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 des Pingouins site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île Saint Paul site factsheet
French Southern Territories Îles des Apôtres site factsheet
High Seas Atlantic, Southeast 14 - Marine site factsheet
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 15 - Marine site factsheet
South Africa Prince Edward Islands Special Nature Reserve site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Gough Island site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Inaccessible Island site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Nightingale Island group site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Tristan Island site factsheet
Uruguay Atlantic Ocean and Rio de la Plata mouth site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
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 - 500 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%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Black Rat (Rattus rattus) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
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%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Unspecified bacteria (Erysipelas spp.) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Viral/prion-induced diseases / Avian Cholera (Pasturella multocida) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality

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: Phoebetria fusca. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/08/2014.

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 (Hilsenberg, 1822)
Population size 28000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,900 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species