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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Thalassarche bulleri is endemic to New Zealand. There are colonies on the Snares (8,713 pairs) and Solander (4,912) Islands in the south (Sagar et al. 1999b, Sagar and Stahl 2005), Forty-Fours (c.14,500) and Big and Little Sister (2,150) Islands in the Chatham Island group (ACAP 2009), and Rosemary Rock, Three Kings Islands (20 pairs) off North Island (Croxall and Gales 1998). This totals approximately 30,500 breeding pairs. The Snares Islands population has almost doubled since 1969, but the rate of increase has slowed in the 1990s (Sagar et al. 1999b, Sagar and Stahl 2005). The Solander Islands population appears to have remained relatively stable during 1985-1996, and has increased by around 18% during 1996-2002 (Sagar and Stahl 2005). The Chatham Island population is thought to be stable (ACAP 2009). Juveniles and non-breeding adults can disperse across the south Pacific Ocean to the west coast of South America (Stahl and Sagar 2000b, Taylor 2000, Spear et al. 2003).

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Range

Breeds islands off N. Zealand; ranges s. Pacific.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour Breeding is annual and colonial. On the Snares Islands most eggs are laid in January, hatch March to April and chicks fledge in August to September. Birds begin to return to colonies at least three years after fledging, and the average age of first breeding is 10-11 years. On the Chatham Islands, eggs are laid in October to November, hatch in January and the chicks fledge in June to July (ACAP 2009). On Little Sister, annual productivity 1994-1996 was 57-60%, and mean annual adult survival 1974-1995 was 93.5% (Croxall and Gales 1998). On the Snares, annual productivity 1995-98 was 70.8% (Sagar et al. 2002), and mean annual adult survival increased from 92.0% in 1983-85 to 95.5% in 1992-97 (Sagar et al. 2000). Breeding and non-breeding adults forage between 40 and 50°S from Tasmania eastwards to the Chatham Rise (Stahl et al. 1998, Stahl and Sagar 2000a, b, BirdLife International 2004, Sagar and Stahl 2005). Females from the Snares Islands tend to conduct longer, more distant foraging trips during pre-egg and brood guard periods of the breeding cycle, than males (BirdLife International 2004). Birds usually forage individually but large numbers may gather to feed at concentrated food sources such as swarms of crustaceans, occasionally making surface plunges or shallow dives (ACAP 2009). Satellite tracking studies from the Snares and Solander Islands show that the distribution of the breeding birds varies with the stage of the breeding cycle. During incubation (Jan-Mar) birds range along the shelf slope off the east and west coasts of the South Island, New Zealand, and into the Tasman Sea; during the guard stage (Mar-Apr) birds are usually found along the shelf slope and shelf areas east and west of the southern New Zealand, and during the post-guard stage (May-Aug) birds occur along the shelf slopes of both coasts of the South Island. After breeding, birds of all ages (including fledglings) migrate to slopes off Chile and Peru (ACAP 2009). Habitat Breeding It breeds in a variety of habitats including grassy meadows, tussock-covered slopes and cliffs, scrub and under forest canopy (Marchant and Higgins 1990). Diet It feeds mostly on fish, squid and tunicates, also octopuses and crustacea (West and Imber 1986, James and Stahl 2000).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 0.013 - 0.013
  Nitrate (umol/L): 25.810 - 25.810
  Salinity (PPS): 34.057 - 34.057
  Oxygen (ml/l): 7.655 - 7.655
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.793 - 1.793
  Silicate (umol/l): 55.982 - 55.982
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Breeding Category

Vagrant
  • Woehler E.J. (compiler) 2006. Species list prepared for SCAR/IUCN/BirdLife International Workshop on Antarctic Regional Seabird Populations, March 2005, Cambridge, UK.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Thalassarche bulleri

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s
Molloy, J., Walker, K., Waugh, S., Robertson, H., Taylor, G., Stahl, J.-C. & McClellan, R.

Justification
This species has been listed as Near Threatened because, although it is restricted to a tiny small area when breeding, the population is stable and the islands on which it breeds are moderately widely spread so it is unlikely to become highly threatened in a short time owing to human activities or stochastic events.

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Population

Population
The estimated annual breeding population is 31,939 pairs, made up of 8,877 pairs on the Snares Islands, 4,912 pairs on the Solander Islands, 16,000 pairs on the Forty-Fours, 2,130 pairs on Big and Little Sister Islands in the Chatham Island group, and 20 pairs on Rosemary Rock, Three Kings Islands off North Island.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
A severe storm in 1985 almost completely removed soil and vegetation from the Sisters and Forty-Fours Islands. Although T. bulleri seems unaffected, further habitat degradation could result in population decreases, as has been predicted for Northern Royal Albatross Diomedea sanfordi (Croxall and Gales 1998). It is one of the more common bycatch species in the longline tuna fishery in New Zealand waters, where all birds caught are adults (Murray et al. 1993, Bartle 1999). It is also caught by squid trawlers in low numbers despite the banning of net-sonde cables in 1992 (Taylor 2000). Recent data from Chile shows that T. bulleri is one of several species caught in the pelagic longline swordfish fishery (ACAP 2009). Weka Gallirallus australis was introduced to Big Solander and may take eggs and chicks (Taylor 2000).

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II and ACAP Annex 1. Long-term studies have been initiated in all main populations (Taylor 2000). Most islands are legally protected, but all Chatham colonies are on private land.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Complete an accurate census on Forty-Fours and Big Sister. Census all colonies for 2-4 consecutive years every 10 years, and Little Sister at least every five years. Develop and effectively implement mitigation devices/techniques to minimise fisheries bycatch. Establish observer coverage on fisheries east of the North Island and the Chathams. Eradicate G. australis from Big Solander Island. Obtain legal protection for Forty-Fours and Sisters Islands, and continued access for research (Taylor 2000).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

IUCN Red List Category

Vulnerable
  • Woehler E.J. (compiler) 2006. Species list prepared for SCAR/IUCN/BirdLife International Workshop on Antarctic Regional Seabird Populations, March 2005, Cambridge, UK.
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Wikipedia

Buller's Albatross

Thalassarche bulleri in flight 1 - SE Tasmania.jpg
Thalassarche bulleri in flight 2 - SE Tasmania.jpg

Buller's Albatross or Buller's Mollymawk, Thalassarche bulleri, is a small mollymawk in the albatross family. It breeds on islands around New Zealand, and feeds in the seas off Australia and the South Pacific.

Taxonomy[edit]

Mollymawks are a type of Albatross that belong to Diomedeidae family and come from the Procellariiformes order, along with shearwaters, fulmars, storm petrels, and diving petrels. They share certain identifying features. First, they have nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called naricorns. Although the nostrils on the Albatross are on the sides of the bill. The bills of Procellariiformes are also unique in that they are split into between 7 and 9 horny plates. Finally, they produce a stomach oil made up of wax esters and triglycerides that is stored in the proventriculus. This is used against predators as well as an energy rich food source for chicks and for the adults during their long flights.[3] They also have a salt gland that is situated above the nasal passage and helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a high saline solution from their nose.[4]

In 1998, Robertson and Nunn split this species into two, Thalassarche (bulleri) bulleri, and Thalassarche (bulleri) platei, although the majority of authorities including ITIS,[5] James Clements,[6] BirdLife International,[7] Michael Brooke.[8] have not yet accepted this split

Etymology[edit]

It was named for the New Zealand ornithologist Walter Buller.

Description[edit]

Buller's Albatross averages 79 cm (31 in). It has a silver-grey forehead, a grey head and throat. It has a black patch around the eyes with a white crescent behind and below the eye. Its back, upperwing, and tail are dark grey, and its rump and underparts are white. Its underwing is white with a black tip, with a broad sharply demarcated dark band at the leading edge. Its bill is large and black with yellow on the upper mandible, and the tip. The juvenile has a darker head and a brown bill.[7]

Behaviour[edit]

Reproduction[edit]

The Buller's Albatross is colonial, nesting generally on cliffs, steep coastal terraces, grassy meadows, and tussock covered hills.[9] Birds in the Snares also nest under trees inland.[7] The nest is mound of soil, grass and roots and is set into depressions in the breeding area. Breeding begins in December. Eggs on the Snares are laid in late January (around the 21-23 of January). incubation lasts around 60 days, with both parents sharing the responsibility. The average incubation shift is around 10 days. After hatching it takes 170 days to fledge the chick. They breed annually.[7]

Feeding[edit]

Buller's Albatross feeds on squid, fish, tunicates, octopus, and crustacea.[7][10][11]

Range and habitat[edit]

Breeding Population and Trends[7]
LocationPopulationDateTrend
Snares Island8,877 pair1999Increasing
Solander Islands4,912 pair1999Increasing
Forty-Fours16,000 pair1998
Big Sister Island & Little Sister Island2,130 pair1998
Rosemary Rock20 pair1998
Total64,0001999Stable

Buller's Albatross is endemic to New Zealand. They breed on Snares Islands, Solander Island, Chatham Islands (Big and Little Sister and Forty-fours Island), and Three Kings Islands (Rosemary Rock). Adults forage between 40°S and 50°S from Tasmania to the Chatham Rise.[12][13][14][15][16] Juveniles and adults that aren't breeding disperse across the South Pacific with a number feeding every year in the Humboldt Current off Chile and Peru.[7][13][17][18]

Conservation[edit]

It was formerly classified as Vulnerable species by the IUCN.[19] But new research has shown it to be not as rare as it was believed. Consequently, it is downlisted to Near Threatened status in 2008.[1] It has an occurrence range of 16,100,000 km2 (6,200,000 sq mi) and a breeding range of 4 km2 (1.5 sq mi). According to a 1999 estimate, there are 64,000 birds and there are 31,939 breeding adults. These are located as follows: 8,877 pairs on Snares Islands, 4,912 pairs on Solander Island,[16][20] 16,000 pairs on Forty-fours Island, 2,130 pairs on Big and Little Sister, 20 pairs on Rosemary Rock in the Three Kings group.[21]

The Snares Islands population has been increasing, but lately not as much as in the 1970s,[16][20] whereas the Solander Island population which was stable from 1986 to 1955 has now shown about an 18% increase.[16] Survivale rate of adults on Snares Islands increased to 95.5%[22] and brooding success rate was 70.8%,[23] whereas on Big and Little Sister, adult survival rate is 93.5% and the brooding success rate is between 57-60%.[21]

Buller's Albatross is the most common bycatch from longline fisheries out of New Zealand,[24][25] and, even though net-sonde cables were banned in 1992, squid trawlers still catch them.[18] Finally, Weka Gallirallus australis was introduced to Big Sister and may take eggs and chicks.[18]

Most islands are legally protected, except for the Chatham Islands colonies which are on private land.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Thalassarche bulleri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Brands, S. (2008)
  3. ^ Double, M. C. (2003)
  4. ^ Ehrlich, Paul R. (1988)
  5. ^ ITIS
  6. ^ Clements, J. (2007)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g BirdLife International (2008)
  8. ^ Brooke, M. (2004)
  9. ^ Marchant, S. & Higgins, P. J. (1990)
  10. ^ James, J. D. & Stahl, J. C. (2000)
  11. ^ West, J. A. & Imber, M. G. (1986)
  12. ^ Stahl, J. C. & Sagar, P. M. (2000)(a)
  13. ^ a b Stahl, J. C. & Sagar, P. M. (2000)(b)
  14. ^ Stahl, J. C., et al. (1998)
  15. ^ BirdLife International (2004)
  16. ^ a b c d Sagar, P. M. & Stahl, J. C. (2005)
  17. ^ Spear, L. B., et al. (2003)
  18. ^ a b c Taylor, G. A. (2000)
  19. ^ Lee, James (06 Oct 2008)
  20. ^ a b Sagar, P. M., et al. (1999)
  21. ^ a b Croxall, J. P. & Gales, R. (1998)
  22. ^ Sagar, P. M., et al. (2000)
  23. ^ Sagar, P. M., et al. (2002)
  24. ^ Bartle, J. A. (1990)
  25. ^ Murray, T. E., et al. (1993)

References[edit]

  • Bartle, J. A. (1990). "Sexual segregation of foraging zones in procellariform birds: implications of accidental capture on commercial fishery longlines of Grey Petrels (Procellaria cinerea)". Notornis (37): 146–149. 
  • BirdLife International (2004). Threatened birds of the world 2004 (CD-ROM). Cambridge, U.K.: BirdLife International. 
  • BirdLife International (2008). "Bartlett's Tinamou - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 18 Feb 2009. 
  • Brooke, M. (2004). "Procellariidae". Albatrosses And Petrels Across The World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850125-0 
  • Clements, James (2007). The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World (6 ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9. 
  • Croxall, J. P.; Gales, R. (1998). "Assessment of the conservation status of albatrosses". In Robertson, G.; Gales, R. Albatross biology and conservation. Chipping Norton, Australia: Surrey Beatty & Sons 
  • Double, M. C. (2003). "Procellariiformes (Tubenosed Seabirds)". In Hutchins, Michael; Jackson, Jerome A.; Bock, Walter J. et al. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8. Birds I Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins. Joseph E. Trumpey, Chief Scientific Illustrator (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. pp. 107–111. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0. 
  • Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dobkin, David, S.; Wheye, Darryl (1988). The Birders Handbook (First ed.). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. pp. 29–31. ISBN 0-671-65989-8. 
  • ITIS (2007). "ITIS Standard Report Page: Thalassarche bulleri". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 19 Feb 2009. 
  • James, J. D.; Stahl, J. C. (2000). "Diet of southern Buller's albatross (Diomedea bulleri bulleri) and the importance of fishery discards during chick-rearing". New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research (34): 435–454. 
  • Lee, James (6 Oct 2008). "Table 7: Species changing IUCN Red List Status" (pdf). IUCN RedList. BirdLife International. Retrieved 18 Feb 2009. [dead link]
  • Marchant, S.; Higgins, P. J. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds, 1: ratites to ducks. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-553068-1 
  • Murray, T. E.; Bartle, J. A.; Kalish, S. R.; Taylor, P. R. (1993). "Incidental capture of seabirds by Japenese southern bluefin tuna longline vessels in New Zealand waters, 1988-1992". Bird Conservationalist International (3): 181–210. 
  • Sagar, P. M.; Molloy, J.; Weimerskirch, H.; Warham, J. (2000). "Temporal and age-related changes in survival rates of southern Buller's albatrosses (Thalassarche bulleri bulleri) at the Snares, New Zealand, 1948 to 1997". Auk (117): 699–708. 
  • Sagar, P. M.; Stahl, J. C. (2005). "Increases in numbers of breeding pairs in two populations of Buller's Albatross (Thalassarche bulleri bulleri)". Emu (105): 49–55. 
  • Sagar, P. M.; Stahl, J. C.; Molloy, J. (2002). "The influence of experience, pair bond duration, and partner change on breeding frequency and success in southern Buller's mollymawk (Thalassarche bulleri bulleri)". Notornis (49): 145–152. 
  • Sagar, P. M.; Stahl, J. C.; Molloy, J.; Taylor, G. A.; Tennyson, A. J. D. (1999). "Population size and trends within the two populations of Southern Buller's Albatross Diomedea bulleri bulleri". Biological Conservation (89): 11–19. 
  • Spear, L. B.; Ainley, D. G.; Webb, S. W. (2003). "Distribution, abundance and behaviour of Buller's, Chatham Island and Salvin's Albatrosses off Chile and Peru". Ibis (145): 253–269. 
  • Stahl, J. C.; Bartle, J. A.; Cheshire, N. G.; Petyt, C.; Sagar, P. M. (1998). "Distribution and movements of Buller's albatross (Diomedea bulleri) in Australasian seas". Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand (25): 109–137. 
  • Stahl, J. C.; Sagar, P. M. (2000). "Foraging strategies and migration of southern Buller's albatross Diomedea b. bulleri breeding on the Solander Island, New Zealand". Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand (30): 319–334. 
  • Stahl, J. C.; Sagar, P. M. (2000). "Foraging strategies of southern Buller's albatrosses Diomedea b.bulleri breeding on The Snares, New Zealand". Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand (30): 299–318. 
  • Taylor, G. A. (2000). "Action plan for seabird conservation in New Zealand. Wellington: Department of Conservation". Threatened Species Occasional Publication (16). 
  • West, J. A.; Imber, M. J. (1986). "Some foods of Buller's mollymawk Diomedea bulleri". New Zealand Journal of Zoology (13): 169–174. 
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