Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Adult Indian yellow-nosed albatrosses return to the breeding colonies in late August, where they meet their partner from at least two previous breeding seasons. Forming loose groups on slopes and cliffs, the each pair lays just one large, white egg which is incubated by both the male and the female. The chick is fed and cared for until late March to mid April, when it fledges and begins to feed itself. It will not breed until it is eight or nine years old (3). Often following fishing vessels, the Indian yellow-nosed albatross feeds on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods. It feeds by snatching prey from the surface and by diving into the water. Although faring poorly when in competition for fish with larger sea birds, the Indian yellow-nosed albatross makes up for this with its agile flying technique, which enables it to catch scraps thrown from trawlers before they hit the water (2). Whilst usually silent at sea, this bird will give occasional croaks when competing for food (3).
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

Part of the mollymawk family, the Indian yellow-nosed albatross is one of the smallest albatross species, compensating for its relatively diminutive proportions with excellent in-flight agility. A black and white bird, it has just one blaze of colour - a yellow stripe running down the top of the bill, blending into red at the tip – to which it owes its name. The back, upperwings and tail are dark grey, fading to very pale grey across the head and neck, and white on the underwings and rump. The underwings are tipped with black and have a narrow margin of black at the leading edge (2). The legs are pale bluish pink (3). The sexes are alike, but juveniles have a white head and black bill (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

Thalassarche carteri breeds on Amsterdam, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, and St Paul Islands (French Southern Territories) and on Prince Edward Island (South Africa). In addition, two breeding pairs were recorded on The Pyramid in 2007. Colonies on Amsterdam Island are estimated at c.27,000 pairs breeding per year in 2006 (Rolland et al. 2009). Elsewhere, there were an estimated 7,000 pairs on Prince Edward Island in 2009 (ACAP 2009), 7,030 pairs per year on Crozet Island (ACAP 2007), as well as 50 pairs on Kerguelen (Weimerskirch and Jouventin 1998) and six pairs on St Paul, giving a total of 41,086 pairs per year, equating to c.82,000 mature individuals, and perhaps more than 160,000 individuals of all age classes (Gales 1998). Colonies on Amsterdam Island declined on average by 58% at between 1982 and 1995. The lowest numbers were recorded in 1995, after which some colonies on the island increased or stabilised between 1996 and 2005. The overall trend on Amsterdam is a decline of over 30% between 1982-2006 (Rolland et al. 2009). The population on Prince Edward appears stable: in 2001-2002, 4,170 pairs were counted, representing 7,500 pairs in total once early breeding failures were taken into account (Ryan et al. 2003). However, the figure for Prince Edward Island was recently revised down to 7,000 pairs in 2009 (ACAP 2009). Decline over three generations is estimated at 51%, assuming a continuing decline at Amsterdam Island and populations elsewhere remaining stable. Outside the breeding season, the species disperses throughout the southern Indian Ocean between 30-50 degrees South, and birds are frequently observed off southern Africa and south-western Australia, extending east to the Tasman Sea and north-eastern New Zealand (Harrison 1983).

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

Breeds on s Indian Ocean islands; ranges southern oceans.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

The Indian yellow-nosed albatross breeds on Prince Edward Island, the Crozet Islands, the Kerguelen Islands, Amsterdam Island and the St Paul Islands in the Southern Indian Ocean. Outside the breeding season, the Indian yellow-nosed albatross disperses throughout the Indian Ocean and can be found off the south-western coast of Australia, east to the Tasman Sea and off northeastern New Zealand (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 It breeds annually, and breeding is either solitarily or in loose groups,. Eggs are laid in September-October and hatch in November-December. Chicks fledge in March-April. It catches prey by surface seizing and shallow diving (ACAP 2009). Diet It feeds mainly on fish and squid, and less frequently on crustaceans (Cherel and Klages 1998, ACAP 2009). Habitat Breeding It breeds on slopes or cliffs, typically in bare, rocky areas but sometimes in tussock-grass and ferns (Brooke 2004). Foraging range Satellite-tracking of birds from Amsterdam Island has shown that breeding birds forage up to 1,500 km from the colony (Pinaud and Weimerskirch 2007).


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

Spending the non-breeding season out at sea, the Indian yellow-nosed albatross comes to land only during the breeding season, preferring slopes and cliffs in bare, rocky regions, with little vegetation (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

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.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A4bde

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.

Contributor/s
Cooper, J., Crawford, R., Croxall, J., Robertson, C., Ryan, P.G. & Weimerskirsch, H.

Justification
This species is listed as Endangered on the basis of an estimated very rapid ongoing decline over three generations (71 years), based on data from the population stronghold on Amsterdam Island. This decline is the result of adult mortality and poor recruitment owing to interactions with fisheries and disease.

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

The Indian yellow-nosed albatross is classified as Endangered (EN A4bde) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1) and as 'rare or likely to become extinct' on the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (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
The total population is estimated at 41,580 pairs per year, equating to 83,160 mature individuals, and perhaps more than 160,000 individuals of all age classes, using the ratios presented by Gales (1998).

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
The Amsterdam population declined due to the outbreak of two diseases in the early 1980s (avian cholera and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathidae) that affect the chicks, and were thought to have be introduced to the island via poultry kept at the French military base. Death of up to 100% of chicks has been recorded in some colonies. The diseases mainly affect young chicks, but adults may also be affected (Weimerskirch 2004). Subsequent declines in numbers at certain colonies could be due to dispersal following failed breeding (Rolland et al. 2009). Interactions with longline fisheries could also account for observed decreases given that up to 600 may be killed annually, comprising mainly adults in the winter months and immatures during the summer fishing season (Gales 1998, Weimerskirch and Jouventin 1998). During the breeding season, it also comes into contact with tuna longliners in subtropical waters (Weimerskirch and Jouventin 1998),and birds (mostly adult males) have been taken by Patagonian toothfish Dissostichus eleginoides longliners in the vicinity of the Prince Edward Islands (Ryan and Boix-Hinzen 1999). However, more data is needed to assess whether longline bycatch is the cause of decline at Amsterdam Island and the Prince Edward Islands (Rolland et al. 2009). Yellow-nosed Albatross species are also killed in pelagic longline fisheries off southern Africa (Ryan et al. 2002), and occasionally in South African trawl fisheries (B. Watkins in litt. (2008). On Amsterdam Island, past habitat destruction by introduced cattle has degraded the breeding sites but fencing of cattle has reduced their impact in recent years (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

As with many seabird species, longline fishing activities pose the major threat to the Indian yellow-nosed albatross. Longlining is mainly used to catch tuna and swordfish by releasing a line of baited hooks that sink to the appropriate depth for these fish. Many seabirds dive for the bait before it has sunk, becoming caught on the hooks and drowning as the line reaches its final depth (2). The largest population, of Indian yellow-nosed albatrosses, found on Amsterdam Island, has suffered massive losses in the last 25 years as a result of two bacterial diseases (Avian cholera and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathidae).
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. Population monitoring and foraging studies have been undertaken at Amsterdam Island. The Prince Edward Islands are a Special Nature Reserve. Vaccination has been tested, but cannot be carried out at a large scale (Weimerskirch 2004). In 2006, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission adopted a measure to require tuna longline fishing vessels to use a bird streamer line when fishing south of 30 degrees South. South Africa requires its longline vessels to use a range of mitigation measures.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor trends at breeding localities, notably Amsterdam, Prince Edward and Crozet Islands. Conduct further research to explore potential for controlling and limiting impact of disease. Conduct further studies of foraging range and interaction with fisheries. Promote adoption of best-practice mitigation measures in all fisheries within the species's range, particularly via intergovernmental mechanisms under auspices of CCAMLR, CMS and FAO.

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

Prince Edward Island is a Special Nature Reserve, where all fauna is protected. Population monitoring and foraging studies have been carried out on Amsterdam Island, and vaccines against the bacterial diseases have been tested, but these cannot be carried out on a large scale (2). A Threat Abatement Plan has been prepared which proposes to reduce by-catch in all fisheries within the species' range (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

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

IUCN Red List Category

Endangered
  • Woehler E.J. (compiler) 2006. Species list prepared for SCAR/IUCN/BirdLife International Workshop on Antarctic Regional Seabird Populations, March 2005, Cambridge, UK.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Indian yellow-nosed albatross

The Indian yellow-nosed albatross (Thalassarche carteri) is a member of the albatross family, and is the smallest of the mollymawks. In 2004, BirdLife International[2] split this species from the Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross; however Clements[3] has not split it yet, and the SACC has not either, but recognises the need for a proposal.[4]

Taxonomy[edit]

Illustration by Keulemans

Mollymawks are a type of albatross that belong to the family Diomedeidae of the order Procellariiformes, along with shearwaters, fulmars, storm petrels, and diving petrels. They share certain identifying features.

  • They have nasal passages called naricorns attached to the upper bill.
  • The bills of Procellariiformes are unique in that they are split into between 7 and 9 horny plates.
  • They make a stomach oil made of wax esters and triglycerides that is stored in the proventriculus. This is used against predators and as an energy rich food source for chicks and for the adults during their long flights.[5]
  • They have a salt gland above the nasal passage. It helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a high-saline solution from the nose.[6]

The type-specimen is a black-beaked juvenile, which has caused confusion over its status until recently.[7]

Description[edit]

East of the Tasman Peninsula

The Indian yellow-nosed albatross weighs 2.55 kg (5.6 lb), is 76 cm (30 in)[8] long and is 2 m (6.6 ft) across the wings.[9] The adult has a pale grey or white head and nape, with a dark grey mantle, upperwing, and tail. Its rump and underparts are white, and its underwing is white with a black tip with a narrow black margin at the leading edge. Its bill is black with a yellow upper ridge and a red tip. The juvenile has a white head and all black bill.[8] It is difficult to distinguish from the closely related grey-headed albatross and Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, the latter with which it was long considered conspecific and is still considered by some a subspecies of. It can be distinguished from the Atlantic yellow-nosed by its head, the grey plumage of which is lighter on the Indian yellow-nosed.

Behaviour[edit]

Reproduction[edit]

Like all albatrosses, the Indian yellow-nosed albatross is a colonial breeder. It breeds annually,[8] and the adults begin breeding at the age of eight years. A mud nest is built in bare rocky areas or in tussock grass or ferns,[8][10] and a single egg is laid. the nesting season begins in August, with laying occurring around September/October. Incubation lasts around 70 days. After hatching the chick takes around 115 days to fledge.

Feeding[edit]

It feeds on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods.[8][11]

Range and habitat[edit]

Breeding Population and Trends[8]
LocationPopulationDateTrend
Amsterdam Island27,000 pair1997Declining
Prince Edward Islands7,500 pair2002Stable
Crozet Island7,030 pair2007
Kerguelen Island50 pair1998
Île Saint-Paul3 pair2007
Total65,0002004Declining

It breeds on Prince Edward Islands, the Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Island, Amsterdam Island (on the Falaises d'Entrecasteaux) and St Paul Islands in the Indian Ocean. When feeding during incubation, birds will forage up to 1,500 km (930 mi) from the colony.[12] At sea it ranges from South Africa to the Pacific Ocean just beyond New Zealand, ranging from 30° S to 50° S.[8][13]

Conservation[edit]

It is considered to be an endangered species by the IUCN,[1] due to dramatic declines in the last seventy years, caused by interactions with longline fisheries and the outbreak of introduced diseases, such as avian cholera and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.[14] It has an occurrence range of 35,300,000 km2 (13,600,000 sq mi) and a breeding range of 1,400 km2 (540 sq mi). A 2004 population estimate established that around a total of 65,000 adult birds are alive. This is based on earlier counts as follows: 27,000 breeding pairs breed on Amsterdam Island,[15] and 7,500 pair on Prince Edward Island,[14] 7,030 on Crozet Island,[16] 50 on Kerguelen Island,[17] and 3 pair on St. Paul Island for a total of 41,580 pair or 83,000 mature individuals. Take into account decreasing trends for the stated number.

Monitoring of the birds and studying of its foraging is an ongoing project on Amsterdam Island, and Prince Edward Islands is a nature preserve. A vaccination has been developed but remains untested.[14] Finally, in 2006, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission adopted a measure to require longline boats to use a bird streamer south of 30°S, and South Africa requires its boats to use a variety of mitigation processes.[8]

Etymology[edit]

The binomial commemorates the English ornithologist Thomas Carter.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Thalassarche carteri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ BirdLife International (2008)(b)
  3. ^ Clements, J. (2007)
  4. ^ Remsen Jr., J. V. (2008)
  5. ^ Double, M. C. (2003)
  6. ^ Ehrlich, Paul R. (1988)
  7. ^ http://www.marineornithology.org/PDF/30_1/30_1_15.pdf
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h BirdLife International (2008a)
  9. ^ http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/birds/Thalassarche_carteri/more_info.html?section=factsAndStatus
  10. ^ Brooke M. (2004)
  11. ^ Cherel Y. & Klages N. (1998)
  12. ^ Pinaud D. & Weimerskirch, H. (2007)
  13. ^ Harrison P. (1983)
  14. ^ a b c Ryan, P. G. et al. (2002)
  15. ^ Weimerskirch, H. (2008)
  16. ^ ACAP (2007)
  17. ^ Weimerskirch, H. & Jouventin P. (1998)

References[edit]

  • ACAP (2007). "ACAP species assessments, Indian Yellow-nosed albatross." (pdf). ACAP. 
  • BirdLife International (2008a). "Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche carteri - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 18 Feb 2009. 
  • BirdLife International (2008). "The BirdLife checklist of the birds of the world, with conservation status and taxonomic sources." (xls). Retrieved 18 Feb 2009. [dead link]
  • Brooke, M. (2004). "Procellariidae". Albatrosses And Petrels Across The World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850125-0. 
  • Cherel, Y.; Klages, N. (1998). "A review of the food of albatrosses". In Robertson, G.; Gales, G. Albatross biology and conservation. Chipping Norton, Australia: Surrey Beatty & Sons. pp. 113–136. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Harrison, P. (1983). Seabirds: an identification guide. Beckenham, U.K.: Croom Helm. 
  • Pinaud, D.; Weimerskirch, H. (2007). "At-sea distribution and scale-dependent foraging behaviour of petrels and albatrosses: a comparative study". Journal of Animal Ecology (76): 9–19. 
  • 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 18 Feb 2009. 
  • Ryan, P. G.; Keith, D. G.; Kroese, M. (2002). "Seabird bycatch by tuna longline fisheries off southern Africa, 1998-2000". South African Journal of Marine Science (24): 103. 
  • Weimerskirch, H. (2008) in litt.
  • Weimerskirch, H.; Jouventin, P. (1998). "Changes in population sizes and demographic parameters of six albatross species breeding on the French sub-antarctic islands". In Robertson, G.; Gales, R. Albatross biology and conservation. Chipping Norton, Australia: Surrey Beatty and Sons. pp. 84–91. 
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!