Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Thalassarche impavida breeds only on the northern and western coastline of Campbell Island (111 km2) and the tiny offshore islet, Jeanette Marie, New Zealand. The total population was estimated to be 19,000-26,000 breeding pairs (Moore and Moffat 1990), with the most recent censuses in 1995-1997 giving an estimate of 24,600 pairs (Moore 2004). Numbers decreased steeply between the 1970s and 1980s: one colony declined at a rate of 5.9% per year between 1966 and 1981, and 10.5% per year between 1981 and 1984. However, numbers have been either stable or increasing slightly since 1984 (Waugh et al. 1999a),with a 1.8% increase recorded in selected colonies between 1992 and 1997 (Moore 2004). Its non-breeding range is confined to southern Australian waters, the Tasman Sea and the south Pacific Ocean (Croxall and Gales 1998, Waugh et al. 1999b). Breeding adults forage from South Island, New Zealand, and Chatham Rise southwards to the Ross Sea (Waugh et al. 1999c, BirdLife International 2004).

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Range

Campbell Islands and adjacent islands off New Zealand.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour This species breeds annually and is present in colonies from April to May. Eggs are laid from late September to early October, hatching mostly in early December and chicks fledge from mid April to early May (ACAP 2009). Mean annual productivity was 66% between 1984 and 1994. Mean adult survivorship was 94.5% between 1984 and 1995. Birds return to land at age 5 (ACAP 2009) and the average age of first breeding is 10 years (Waugh et al. 1999a). It feeds by surface-seizing and is probably capable of shallow dives (ACAP 2009). Habitat Breeding Campbell Albatross nests on ledges and steep slopes covered in low native grasses, tussocks and mud (Brooke 2004). Diet It feeds mainly on fish, also on squid, crustaceans, gelatinous organisms and carrion (Cherel et al. 1999). The diet during the chick-rearing period is dominated by juvenile southern blue whiting Micromesistius australis (ACAP 2009). Foraging range Satellite-tracking studies indicated that birds provisioning chicks predominantly foraged over neritic waters during trips lasting less than four days, with some long trips of 8-21 days over oceanic waters. The foraging range during short trips extended 150-640 km from the breeding colony, mainly over subantarctic waters within the 1,000 m depth contour on the Campbell Plateau. Longer trips extended up to 2,000 km from the colony, ranging from subtropical to Antarctic waters, but mainly to the Polar Frontal Zone or to the east of the Campbell Plateau. This plasticity in foraging behaviour is in contrast to the exclusively neritic feeding trips observed in T. melanophrys at some sites, though not others(ACAP 2009).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
D2

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

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

Contributor/s
Molloy, J., Moore, P., Robertson, C., Stahl, J.-C. & Taylor, G.

Justification
This species is classified as Vulnerable because breeding is restricted to a single location, where it is susceptible to potential human impacts and stochastic events. Although numbers decreased steeply between the 1970s and 1980s owing to interactions with fisheries, the population is now thought to be increasing, although there has not been a census since 1996

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Population

Population
The breeding population is estimated to number 24,600 pairs, based on surveys from 1995-1997.

Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Large numbers have been caught by tuna longline vessels, mostly juveniles in New Zealand waters, but also adults in Australian waters (Heather and Robertson 1997, Croxall and Gales 1998, Taylor 2000). The population decline coincided with the development of a large-scale fishery that peaked in New Zealand waters during 1971-1983. The present gradual increase in numbers may be due to a substantial decline in fishing effort since 1984 (Waugh et al. 1999a). However, during 1988-1995, it still comprised 11% of all the seabirds killed on tuna longlines in New Zealand waters and returned for identification (Taylor 2000), and 13% of all banded birds caught in Australian waters (Gales et al. 1998). It is also attracted to offal discarded from trawlers, and is regularly drowned in New Zealand trawl fisheries (Heather and Robertson 1997, Baird and Smith 2007).

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
ACAP Annex 1. The species was first studied in the 1940s. Feral sheep were eradicated from the north of Campbell Island, where the nesting colonies are, in 1971, and then from the island itself in 1991. Research includes studies on population dynamics, colony distribution, biology, diet and foraging (Taylor 2000). The islands are a national nature reserve, and part of a World Heritage Site, declared in 1998. Rats and cats were eradicated from Campbell in 2001, and an expedition in 2003 found no evidence of them persisting (P. Moore in litt. 2003).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Complete ground census of colonies for three consecutive years every 10 years, and repeat photopoints at least every five years. Search intensively for banded birds in two consecutive years at five- year intervals. Complete research to clarify fisheries interactions. Further develop mitigation devices/techniques to minimise fisheries bycatch in trawl and pelagic longline fisheries.

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Wikipedia

Campbell albatross

The Campbell albatross or Campbell mollymawk (Thalassarche impavida) is a medium-sized mollymawk in the albatross family. It breeds only on Campbell Island and the associated islet of Jeanette Marie, a small New Zealand island group in the South Pacific. It is sometimes considered a subspecies of the black-browed albatross. It is a medium-sized black and white albatross with a pale yellow iris.[3]

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 seven and nine 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.[4] They also have a salt gland situated above the nasal passage which helps desalinate their bodies, necessary due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a high saline solution from their nose.[5]

In 1998, Robertson and Nunn suggested the species be split off of the black-browed albatross, Thalassarche melanophrys.[6] Over the course of the next few years more experts agreed, starting with BirdLife International in 2000,[3] followed by Brooke in 2004.[7] James Clements did not agree,[8] the ACAP has not agreed yet, and SACC recognizes the need for a proposal.[9]

Description[edit]

It weighs 3.21 kg (7.1 lb) and is 88 cm (35 in) long.[3][10][11] The adult is very similar to the black-browed albatross, differing in eye color. It has a white head, neck, rump, and underparts, with a black upperwing, back, and tail. The underwing is white with broad black edging. It has a black triangle around the eye that reaches the bill, which is yellow with an orange tip. They also have a pale yellow iris. The juveniles have a brown-grey bill with a black tip, dark eyes and less black on the underwing. The average life expectancy is given as 28 years, though this is likely due to lack of study as most albatross can live to well beyond 50 years.[3]

Range and habitat[edit]

Juvenile
Breeding population and trends[3]
LocationPopulationDateTrend
Campbell Island & Jeanette Marie,
Campbell Islands
24,600 pairs1997Increasing 1.8% yr
Total49,0001997Increasing 1.8% per yr

The Campbell albatross breeds on the northern and western coastline of Campbell Island and the islet Jeanette Marie. When breeding they forage from South Island and the Chatham Rise to the Ross Sea.[12][13] Juveniles and non-breeders will go only through south Australian water, the Tasman Sea, and southwestern Pacific Ocean.[14][15]

Behavior[edit]

Feeding[edit]

The Cambell albatross feeds on fish, squid, crustacea, carrion, and gelatinous organisms.[16]

Reproduction[edit]

Breeding birds like to nest on ledges and steep slopes covered with low grass, tussock, or mud.[7] They start breeding at 10 years[15] and they have a breeding success rate of 66%.[3] Adults return to the breeding colony in early August and begin laying in late September. The single egg is incubated for around 70 days. The chicks fledge after about 130 days after hatching.[7]

Conservation[edit]

The IUCN classifies this species as vulnerable due to the limited number of breeding locations.[1] The most recent estimate was in 1997 and counted 24,600 pairs.[17] Between 1992 and 1997 sampled colonies have been increasing at the rate of 1.8%.[17] Adult survival rate is at 94.5%.[3] It has an occurrence range of 31,700,000 km2 (12,200,000 sq mi) and a breeding range of 13 km2 (5.0 sq mi).[3]

The largest threat to this species are fisheries, both longline[14][18][19] and trawlers.[18][20]

The feral sheep that existed on Campbell Island were fully eradicated by 1991, and rats and cats were eradicated by 2001.[21] Finally, studies are ongoing.[19]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Thalassarche impavida". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Brands, S. (2008)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h BirdLife International (2008)
  4. ^ Double, M. C. (2003)
  5. ^ Ehrlich, Paul R. (1988)
  6. ^ Robertson, C. J. R. & Nunn (1998)
  7. ^ a b c Brooke, M. (2004)
  8. ^ Clements, J. (2007)
  9. ^ Remsen Jr., J. V. (2008)
  10. ^ http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/e18450676360r47p/
  11. ^ http://birdstage.quinn.com/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=30007&m=0
  12. ^ Waugh, S. M., et al. (1999a)
  13. ^ BirdLife International (2004)
  14. ^ a b Croxall, J. P. and Gales, R. (1998)
  15. ^ a b Waugh, S. M., et al. (1999)
  16. ^ Cherel, Y., et al. (1999)
  17. ^ a b Moore, P. J. (2004)
  18. ^ a b Heather, B. D. & Robertson, H. A. (1997)
  19. ^ a b Taylor, G. A. (2000)
  20. ^ Baird, S. J. & Smith, M. H. (2007)
  21. ^ Moore, P. J. (2003)

References[edit]

  • Baird, S. J.; Smith, M. H. (2007). "Incidental capture of seabirds species in commercial fisheries in New Zealand waters, 2003-2004 and 2004-2005". New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report (9). 
  • BirdLife International (2004). Threatened birds of the world 2004 (CD-ROM). Cambridge, U.K.: BirdLife International. 
  • BirdLife International (2008). "Campbell Albatross - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 22 Feb 2009. 
  • Brands, Sheila (Aug 14, 2008). "Systema Naturae 2000 / Classification - Diomedea (Thalassarche) melanophris -". Project: The Taxonomicon. Retrieved 22 Feb 2009. 
  • Brooke, M. (2004). "Procellariidae". Albatrosses And Petrels Across The World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850125-0. 
  • Cherel, Y.; Waugh, S.; Hanchet, S. (1999). "Albatross predation of juvenile southern blue whiting (Micromesicus australis) on the Campbell Plateau". New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research (33): 437. 
  • 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. 
  • Heather, B. D.; Robertson, H. A. (1997). The field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 
  • Moore, P. J. (2003) in litt
  • Moore, P. J. (2004). "Abundance and population trends of mollymawks on Campbell Island". Science for Conservation (Wellington, NZ: Department of Conservation) (242). 
  • Remsen Jr., J. V.; et al. (7 Aug 2008). "A classification of the bird species of South America, South American Classification Committee, American Ornithologists' Union". South American Classification Committee. American Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 22 Feb 2009. 
  • Robertson, C. J. R.; Nunn, G. B. (1998). "Towards a new taxonomy for albatrosses". In Robertson, G.; Gales, R. Albatross biology and conservation. Chipping Norton, Australia: Surrey Beatty & Sons. pp. 13–19. 
  • Taylor, G. A. (2000). "Action plan for seabird conservation in New Zealand. Wellington: Department of Conservation". Threatened Species Occasional Publication (16). 
  • Waugh, S. M.; Weimerskirch, H.; Cherel, Y.; Shankar, U.; Prince, P. A.; Sagar, P. M. (1999). "Exploitation of the marine environment by two sympatric albatrosses in the Pacific Southern Ocean". Marine Ecology Progress Series (177): 243. 
  • Waugh, S. M.; Weimerskirch, H.; Moore, P. J.; Sagar, P. M. (1999a). "Population dynamics of Black-browed and Grey-headed Albatrosses Diomedea melanophrys and D. chrysostoma at Campbell Island, New Zealand, 1942-96". Ibis (141): 216–225. 
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