IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)

Distribution

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Range Description

Thalassarche steadi is endemic to offshore islands of New Zealand, where it appears to breed biennially, with the annual breeding population estimated at approximately 100,000 pairs in 2012 (Baker et al. 2013). Breeding colonies are located on Disappointment Island, Adams Island and Auckland Island in the Auckland Island group, and Bollons Island (50-100 pairs) in the Antipodes Island Group, with some 95% of the global population breeding on Disappointment Island (Baker et al. 2013). 'Shy' type albatrosses have been recorded in the south-west Atlantic for many years (White et al. 2002, Phalan et al. 2004). Most of the birds recorded are immature, which has hindered specific identification. However, genetic evidence from a bird on South Georgia confirmed the species was T. steadi (Phalan et al. 2004). In addition, tracking studies (Thompson and Sagar 2007), bird band recoveries (Robertson et al. 2003) and DNA-based identification of bycatch specimens (Abbott et al. 2006) have confirmed that this species forages in Tasmania and Southern Africa/Namibia (Robertson et al. 2003), and immature birds are thought to occur regularly throughout the South Atlantic and south-west Indian Ocean. The first tracking studies commenced on Auckland Island in 2006 and are ongoing (Thompson and Sagar 2007). Annual estimates of breeding pairs between 2007-2011 appeared to indicate a very rapid population decline, but inter-annual variability and larger numbers breedng in 2012 cast this into doubt. The need for accurate trend information is highlighted by estimates of 8,000 individuals killed annually as a result of longline and trawl fisheries by ACAP (2009), and over 17,000 birds per year by Francis (2012). However, adult survival (based on mark-recapture data) was estimated at 0.96 (0.91-1.00, 95% C.I.) by Francis (2012), suggesting that adults may not be overly impacted by fisheries bycatch (B. Baker in litt. 2013).

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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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