Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Using its expansive wings, the Antipodean albatross can glide for vast distances, expending very little energy as it searches for food. It feeds predominantly on dead squid found floating at the surface (5), and on fish (2). After fledging, the Antipodean albatross may spend up to five years at sea without ever touching land, and only really spends significant time ashore at about ten years old, when it is ready to start breeding (5). Antipodean albatross reproduction is a complex and lengthy process, the elaborate courtship ritual alone may be performed over many successive breeding seasons before mating finally occurs. The most striking aspect of the courtship is the dance, which involves bowing, bill snapping, mutual preening, touching bills and head shaking. Both the male and female will engage in this dance, which is believed to help strengthen the bond between breeding pairs (9). Diomedea antipodensis antipodensis populations commence egg-laying on Antipodes Island around early January and on the Chatham Islands around February (10), while Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni on the Auckland Islands breeds in late December. Rearing the chicks takes about a year, with the parent birds spending the first three months ashore incubating the egg, and the remaining nine months making foraging trips out to sea and returning to feed the chick. Depending on specific populations' breeding times, most chicks fledge and leave the nest between January and February (5). If breeding is successful, the adults will not breed in the following season, thereby producing just a single chick every two to three years (5).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

A magnificent seabird with a huge, three-metre wingspan (5), the Antipodean albatross was once considered to be a subspecies of the well-known wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans), but recent genetic studies have confirmed that it is a distinct species (2) (6). The female Antipodean albatross has chocolate-brown upperparts, interspersed with irregular white, wavy patterns, while the male's upperparts are much whiter (2). In both sexes, the crown of the head has brown markings, which may vary from a small patch, to a broad cap extending down to the nape of the neck (7). The remainder of the head and body are white, with the exception of the tips of the wings, which are black (2). Although there is still some contention, many scientists accept the separation of the Antipodean albatross into two subspecies: Diomedea antipodensis antipodensis and Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni. The male Diomedea antipodensis antipodensis has a darker head cap, darker tail and is less white than Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni, while the female Diomedea antipodensis antipodensis has a distinct, brown breast band (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range Description

Diomedea antipodensis is endemic to New Zealand, breeding on Antipodes Island (4,565 breeding pairs annually between 2007 and 2009 [ACAP 2009]), the Auckland Islands group (Adams, Disappointment and Auckland), where four counts from 2006 to 2009 indicated a mean annual breeding population of 3,277 pairs (ACAP 2009), Campbell Island (c.10 pairs [Gales 1998]), and Pitt Island in the Chatham Islands (one pair since 2004) (Miskelly et al. 2008). The total average annual breeding population of 8,050 pairs on all islands gives an estimated population of 44,500 mature individuals in 2009 (ACAP 2009). Data from satellite tracking indicate that birds from the Auckland Islands forage mostly west of New Zealand over the Tasman Sea and south of Australia, while those from the Antipodes forage east of New Zealand in the South Pacific, as far as the coast of Chile, and have a larger overall range (Medway 1993, Taylor 2000, Walker and Elliot 2006).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

Antipodes Islands.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

Endemic to New Zealand, the breeding grounds of the Antipodean albatross are limited to the subantarctic islands of the South Pacific. Diomedea antipodensis antipodensis breeds on Antipodes Island, with a small population also breeding on the islands of Pitt and Campbell (part of the Chatham Islands group). Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni breeds on the islands of Adams, Disappointment and Auckland (part of the Auckland Islands group) (8). The Antipodean albatross travels huge distances when foraging and has been recorded in the Tasman Sea, around southern Australia, and in the South Pacific as far as the coast of Chile (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour Eggs are laid between late December and late January on the Auckland Islands, and between early January and early February on the Antipodes Islands. Hatching takes place between March and April, and chicks fledge after nine months departing in mid-December to early March (ACAP 2009). Breeding is biennial if chicks are successfully reared (Gales 1998). Fledglings do not return earlier than the age of three years old, and the youngest age of first breeding is seven years for Antipodes Island birds and eight years old for Auckland Islands birds (ACAP 2009). Between 1991 and 2004, average productivity was 74% on Antipodes Island and significantly lower (63%) on the Auckland Islands (Elliot and Walker 2005). Foraging was most concentrated over pelagic waters and deep shelf slope (up to 6000 m), with peaks of activity at 1000 m corresponding to seamounts and shelf breaks where productivity is high. Foraging trips are longer during incubation (7-13 days) than chick-rearing (average 4 days) (ACAP 2009). Breeders and non-breeders have similar core foraging areas, though non-breeding juvenile males from the Antipodes Islands migrate east to the waters off Chile, and non-breeding juvenile males and females from the Auckland Islands forage westward to the south-eastern Indian Ocean (ACAP 2009). Habitat Breeding It nests from the coastline inland, on ridges, slopes and plateaus, usually in open or patchy vegetation, such as tussock grassland or shrubs. Diet It feeds mostly on cephalopods and fish (ACAP 2009).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

A pelagic species, the Antipodean albatross spends much of its life at sea (5). It returns to land during the breeding season, where it nests on the windswept islands of the subantarctic region (2). Nests are constructed in the open or, more commonly, among tussock grass and shrubs, avoiding regions with tall vegetation and the highly exposed tops of hills and ridges (5).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

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
Robertson, C., Stahl, J.-C., Taylor, G. & Walker, K.

Justification
This species is classified as Vulnerable because it is largely confined to three small islands when breeding and is therefore highly susceptible to stochastic effects and human impacts. Recent data (2005-2008) from the Auckland Islands indicate declines in adult survival, productivity and recruitment, which, if confirmed by further monitoring, could result in a reclassification of Endangered or Critically Endangered.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS or Bonn Convention) (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
ACAP (2009).


Population Trend
Decreasing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
Between 1987 and 2003, this species was a significant bycatch in the longline tuna fishery in New Zealand waters. The capture of 58 birds in 2006 during a single fishing trip was a reminder that bycatch remains a threat, with significant mortality also occuring in the Chilean pelagic longline swordfish fishery (ACAP 2009). Foraging areas of the species also overlaps with the Australian Eastern Tuna and Billfish fisheries, and with the Korean and Taiwanese fleets in the Central Pacific which mostly target albacore tuna. However, seabird bycatch information for these distant-water pelagic fleets is poor (ACAP 2009). Female survival on the Auckland Islands is lower than for males (Walker and Elliot 1999). In 2005 and 2006, female annual survival was as low as 80%, eight percent below male survival. This may be because females disperse further north than the males (Walker et al. 1995), increasing their chance of interacting with longline fisheries in Australian and New Zealand waters. Recent studies indicate that increasing ocean temperature in the Tasman Sea could be having a negative impact on D. a. gibsoni, although this needs further investigation (Elliot and Walker in litt. 2007). Pigs may be responsible for the near extirpation of the species on Auckland Island, and probably still take eggs and chicks, while feral cats may also kill some chicks (Taylor 2000). Introduced house mice Mus musclus on the Antipodes Islands do not appear to pose a threat to the species (ACAP 2009).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Populations of the Antipodean albatross have been extensively monitored in recent years, and show an estimated decline in mature individuals from around 39,000 in 1998 to 25,260 in 2007. Like other species of albatross, the key threat to the Antipodean albatross is commercial longline fishing. A shocking 58 Antipodean albatrosses were caught during a single longline fishing expedition for tuna in New Zealand fishing waters in 2006 (2). The birds dive for the bait set out on hooks on the longlines, become hooked and eventually drown (11). In addition, pigs and feral cats on Auckland island have been responsible for dramatic reductions in the populations of Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni, with both animals taking chicks, and the pigs also eating the eggs. More recently, rising ocean temperatures in the Tasman Sea have been implicated as a potential threat to Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
ACAP Annex 1. Conservation efforts began in 1969, when the breeding population was first estimated on Antipodes. Many thousands of chicks have been banded, both on Antipodes and Adams Islands. Satellite tracking has identified foraging and non-breeding distribution (Walker and Elliot 2006). By 1992, cattle and sheep had been eradicated from Campbell Island (Taylor 2000). All islands are nature reserves and, in 1998, were declared part of a World Heritage Site.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Census total breeding population for 3-4 consecutive years at 10-year intervals. Monitor productivity, survival and recruitment. Check all birds for bands during censuses for survival and recruitment measures. Monitor new fisheries for bycatch. Continue to develop mitigation devices/techniques to minimise fisheries bycatch. Eradicate pigs and cats from Auckland Island (Taylor 2000). Further investigate the impact that oceanographic changes in the Tasman Sea may be having on D. a. gibsoni. Obtain seabird bycatch information for distant-water pelagic fleets in the Pacific.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

The Antipodean albatross is listed on Annex 1 of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP), an international agreement which aims to conserve these birds by helping to develop measures to mitigate threats to their survival (12). As a party to this agreement, the New Zealand government has agreed to only set surface longlines out at night and to use bird scaring devices (13). However, Forest and Bird, a New Zealand conservation organisation, believes that more measures are necessary, such as a restriction on fishing in the five days either side of the full moon, when the increased visibility causes more birds to be caught (14). All the islands in the Antipodean albatross's range are nature reserves and form part of a World Heritage Site. Proposed conservation measures include the removal of feral cats and pigs from Auckland Island, and to continue to monitor Antipodean albatross populations as well as fishing vessels and their bycatch. This information can then be used to further inform how best to protect and conserve this remarkable species (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Antipodean albatross

The Antipodean albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) is a large seabird in the albatross family. Antipodean albatrosses are smaller than wandering albatrosses, and breed in predominantly brown plumage, but are otherwise difficult to distinguish from wanderers.

Etymology[edit]

Diomedea antipodensis breaks into Diomedea referring to Diomedes, whose companions turned to birds, and antipodensis, the Latin form of the Antipodes Islands, where they are found.[3]

Taxonomy[edit]

The Antipodean albatross comes from the Procellariiformes order. Like all members of this order, they have naricorns, tubular nasal passages on their bill. They also have a unique palate with seven to nine bony plates.[4] One of the great albatrosses of the genus Diomedea, it was only distinguished as a subspecies of the wandering albatross in 1992 and recognised by some authorities as a full species in 1998. While not all scientists believe it is a full species, retaining it with the wandering albatross, a 2004 study of the mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites of the wandering albatross species complex supported the split. Among the major experts, BirdLife International has split this species,[2] Jim Clements has not yet,[5] and the SACC has a proposal on the table to split it.[6]

Subspecies[edit]

There are two sub-species; however there was a study in 1998 that suggested splitting this species,[7] though this was not accepted in a 2004 study.[8]

Description[edit]

The Antipodean is large, at 110 cm (43 in) in length.[2] Its breeding plumage is brown and white and its juveniles are similar in appearance to the wandering albatross. Breeding females have brown upper parts, and have white vermiculations on their back. Its face, throat, lower breast, and belly are white, and its undertail coverts are brown. Its underwings are also white, but with a dark tip. Breeding males are whiter than females, but not as white as the wandering albatross, and both sexes have a pink bill. The females of the nominate race have a dark brown breast band and the males have a darker cap, tail, and humeral flexure than gibsoni.[2]

Range and habitat[edit]

Breeding Population and Trends[2]
LocationPopulationDateTrend
Antipodes Island4,635-5,737 pair2007Declining
Auckland Islands5,800 pair2007Declining
Campbell Islands10 pair2007
Pitt Island1 pair2004
Total25,0002007Declining

At sea Antipodean albatrosses range across the South Pacific from Australia to as far as Chile, from the Tropic of Capricorn south. The gibsonii seems to range to the east of Auckland Island, and the nominate race ranges to the east to Chile. They breed on the Auckland Islands, Antipodes Islands, and Campbell Island.[2]

Behaviour[edit]

They feed predominantly on cephalopod and to a lesser extent fish[2] (unlike other albatross species they are not recorded eating any crustaceans), and have been recorded visiting the spawning grounds of the giant cuttlefish off New South Wales. They nest on ridges, slopes, or plateaus, and will build their nest in the open or within patchy vegetation, such as tussock grassland.[2]

Conservation[edit]

The IUCN classifies this albatross as vulnerable,[1] with an occurrence range of 37,400,000 km2 (14,400,000 sq mi); although its breeding range is only 670 km2 (260 sq mi). A 2007 population estimate numbered between 4,635 and 5,757 breeding pairs on Antipodes Island, 5,800 pairs on the Auckland Islands (Adams Island, Auckland Island, and Disappointment Island), and 10 pair on Campbell Island. There has been 1 pair breeding on Pitt Island, Chatham Islands since 2004. This places the total population at 25,300. Both breeding success (25%) and adult survival rates (80% female & 88% male) have been declining.[2]

Pigs and feral cats are hurting the population on Auckland Island and longline fishing is still impacting them. Recent studies have shown that a rise in Tasman Sea temperature may be impacting gibsoni.[2]

Banding has been an ongoing process, and will continue with satellite tracking of the species. Cattle and sheep have been eradicated from Campbell Island, and all the islands are nature preserves and recently became World Heritage Sites. Cats and pigs need to be removed from the Auckland Islands, the fisheries need to be worked with and the ocean temperature fluctuations need to be studied to help this species survive.[2]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Diomedea antipodensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o BirdLife International (2008)
  3. ^ Gotch, A. F. (1995)
  4. ^ Robertson, C. J. R. (2003)
  5. ^ Clements, J. (2007)
  6. ^ Remsen Jr., J. V. (2009)
  7. ^ Robertson, C. J. R. & Nunn, G. B. (1998)
  8. ^ Brooke, M. (2004)

References[edit]

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!