BirdLife Species Factsheet for Black-browed Albatross Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys is currently listed as Endangered under criterion A4bd on the basis of a projected ongoing population decline of more than 50% over three generations (65 years). Around 70% of the global population of Black-browed Albatross breeds in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) in the South Atlantic. Earlier analyses reported that numbers here apparently increased substantially during the 1980s, but declined during 2000-2005 at 0.7% per annum (Huin and Reid 2007). Given the large population here, this decline was a major factor contributing to the overall projected global population decline. However, some colonies surveyed using aerial photography showed a contrasting population trend, with increases of 21-141% during 1986-2005 reported. In 2010, an archipelago-wide survey of Black-browed Albatross was conducted for the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Both the aerial and ground-based surveys conducted in 2010 revealed an increase in the Black-browed Albatross population 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’ Black-browed Albatross 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. Current estimates for the annual breeding population in the Falkland Islands range between 475,500 and 535,000 breeding pairs. Population trends from Chile (15-20% of the global population) are largely unknown. On South Georgia (Georgias del Sur), which holds 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 of Black-browed Albatross 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 trend over a three generation period (65 years) commencing in 1980 is a 246% increase (see attached spreadsheet). While this might appear to qualify the species for Least Concern, 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, precautionarily listing the species as Near Threatened (under criterion A4d), with declines suspected to approach 30% over three generations, may be more appropriate until further data are forthcoming. Additional information on population trends and comments on the proposed downlisting are welcomed. Thalassarche melanophrys trend analysis References Huin, N.; Reid, T. 2007. Census of the Black-browed Albatross population of the Falkland Islands, 2000 and 2005 Poncet, S.; Robertson, G.; Phillips, R. A.; Lawton, K.; Phalan, B.; Trathan, P. N.; Croxall, J. P. 2006. Status and distribution of Wandering, Black-browed and Grey-headed Albatrosses breeding at South Georgia. Polar Biology 29: 772-781. Wolfaardt, A. 2012. An assessment of the population trends and conservation status of Black-browed Albatrosses in the Falkland Islands. Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), July 2012. Available from http://www.epd.gov.fk.
- Africa (167)
- Americas (320)
- Archive (525)
- Asia (265)
- Australia (35)
- Europe & Central Asia (70)
- Illegal killing of birds (1)
- Middle East (47)
- Pacific (103)
- Species Group (189)
- Taxonomy (155)
- Uncategorized (6)
Five most recent topics
- Liberian Greenbul, Phyllastrephus leucolepis, is to be listed as Data Deficient.
- The newly described taxon Sporophila iberaensis is to be recognised as a species by BirdLife: request for information.
- Sharp-beaked Ground-finch (Geospiza difficilis) is being split: list Vampire Ground-finch G. septentrionalis and Genovesa Ground-finch G. acutirostris as Vulnerable?
- Large Cactus-finch (Geospiza conirostris) is being split: list G. conirostris and G. propinqua as Vulnerable?
- Mountain Serin (Serinus estherae) is being split and moved to the genus Chrysocorythus: list C. mindanensis as Near Threatened or Least Concern?
- Conserving Madagascar's forest of hope October 20, 2016Developing the confidence of local communities and a BirdLife Partner to work together to protect their environment has brought encouraging changes for nature and people. Some places are so rich in natural wonders, so extraordinary, so different from any other, so important for people, and yet so threatened, that we must pull out all […]
- Biodiversity conservation in Yemen – joining forces for the future October 19, 2016What do conservationists do when they can’t do surveys, can’t implement grass-root activities, can’t meet with local people or government representatives to talk about environmental issues and policies? What if a country is being bombed, tanks are rolling through the streets, and it’s not even clear who the government is? This story can be read […]
- Irreplaceable - Sierra de Bahoruco, Dominican Republic October 18, 2016At 1,100 km, Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, is the largest terrestrial protected area of the Dominican Republic and one of the most important refuges for Hispaniola island’s unique biodiversity.
- Conserving Madagascar's forest of hope October 20, 2016