LC
Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris



Taxonomy

Taxonomic note
Thalassarche melanophris (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously listed as T. melanophrys.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Robertson, C. J. R.; Nunn, G. B. 1998. Towards a new taxonomy for albatrosses. In: Robertson, G.; Gales, R. (ed.), Albatross biology and conservation, pp. 13-19. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton, Australia.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.htm#.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2017 Least Concern
2016 Near Threatened A4bd
2013 Near Threatened A4bd
2013 Near Threatened A4bd
2012 Endangered A4bd
2010 Endangered A4b,d
2008 Endangered A4b,d
2005 Endangered
2004 Endangered
2003 Endangered
2002 Vulnerable
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - shelf island
Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 177,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 24,100
Number of locations 10 -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1400000 good estimated 2015
Population trend Increasing medium estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 21.5 - - -

Population justification: The Falklands Islands (Islas Malvinas) holds the largest number of breeding individuals, estimated at 475,500-535,000 pairs in 2010; Wolfaardt 2012). Most other breeding sites holding large numbers of breeding individuals are in Chile with 55,000 pairs estimated on Diego Ramirez in 2003, 58,000 pairs on Ildefonso in 2012 (Robertson et al. 2013), and 15,500 pairs on Diego de Almagro in 2002 (Lawton et al. 2003). The population size on South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) is difficult to estimate, but based on Poncet et al. (2006) and assuming the rate of decline was c.4% (similar to that of Bird Island), the population there may have been down to 56,000 pairs by 2012 (ACAP unpubl. data). However, this may be an underestimate as, based on surveys conducted in 2014/15 covering 30% of the South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) population, declines actually could have been at c.1.8% per year between 2005 and 2014 (Poncet et al. 2006, A. Wolfaardt in litt. 2016). There are an estimated c.5,800 pairs in other populations (Antipodes, Campbell, Heard and MacDonald, Crozet, Kerguelen, Macquarie, Snares; ACAP unpubl. data), giving a potential global population of c.700,000 pairs, which equates to 1,400,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: Surveys of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) population have suggested this population is on the increase, with a 2010 archipelago-wide survey revealing (through aerial and ground-based surveying) an annual increase of at least 4% between 2005 and 2010. This is supported by further aerial surveys from later in the 2010 breeding season and demographic data (Wolfaardt 2012). From this it has also been concluded that the population of Black-browed Albatross on these islands has likely increased since the first archipelago-wide survey in 2000, and potentially since the first ground-based surveys on Beauchêne and Steeple Jason islands in the 1980s. Chilean populations are also likely increasing, as work suggests that the Diego Ramirez and Ildefonso archipelagos (supporting c.85% of the Chilean population) increased by 52% and 18% respectively between 2002 and 2011 (or 23% for both sites combined) (Robertson et al. 2013). Further surveys in 2014 indicated that the Diego Ramirez population increased by a further 29% between 2011 and 2014, while the numbers at Ildefonso remained stable (A. Wolfaardt in litt. 2016).
The trend for South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) appears to be a decline, previously estimated as 4% per year, but now better estimated, based on surveys conducted in 2014/15 covering 30% of the South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) population, at c.1.9% per year between 2003/4 and 2014/5 (Poncet et al. 2006, A. Wolfaardt in litt. 2016, Poncet et al. 2017). 
With the Falklands Islands (Islas Malvinas) and Chilean populations making up the vast majority of the global population it is highly likely that this is currently increasing, and potentially has been since the 1980s. The generation length for this species is long (21.5 years), and data is not available to fully assess population trends over 3 generations into the past. However, given the newer information regarding trends in Chile and South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) it now seems unlikely that the species is in the process of undergoing a decline over 3 generations (commencing in 1980 and continuing into the future).


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Angola N Extant Yes
Antarctica N Extant Yes
Argentina N Extant Yes
Australia N Extant Yes
Bouvet Island (to Norway) U Extant
Brazil N Extant Yes
Chile N Extant Yes
Denmark V Extant
Ecuador U Extant
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) N Extant Yes
Fiji V Extant Yes
French Polynesia U Extant
French Southern Territories N Extant Yes
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) N Extant Yes
Madagascar U Extant
Mozambique U Extant
Namibia N Extant Yes
New Zealand N Extant Yes
Norfolk Island (to Australia) U Extant
Peru N Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands N Extant Yes
St Helena (to UK) U Extant
Uruguay N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Argentina Islas Georgias del Sur
Argentina Islas Malvinas
Argentina Villa marítima El Cóndor
Australia Macquarie Island
Chile Guamblin Island
Chile Isla Diego de Almagro
Chile Isla Evout
Chile Isla Rapa Nui
Chile Islas Diego Ramírez y Rocas Norte
Chile Islas Ildefonso
Chile Islote Albatros - Seno Almirantazgo
Chile Islote Leonard
Chile Islotes Evangelistas
Chile Lago Budi
Chile Puaucho
Chile Quinchele Inland and surrouding sea
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Beauchêne Island
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Bird Island
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Hope Harbour, West Falkland
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Jason Islands Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Keppel Island
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) New Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Saunders Island
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) West Point Island Group
French Southern Territories Île de l'Est
French Southern Territories Île des Pingouins
French Southern Territories Îles des Apôtres
French Southern Territories Îles Nuageuses and Île Clugny
French Southern Territories Northern part of Péninsule Loranchet
French Southern Territories Southern coast of Péninsule Jeanne d'Arc
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) Heard and McDonald Islands
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 19 - Marine
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 37 - Marine
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 40 - Marine
New Zealand Antipodes Islands
New Zealand Campbell Islands
Peru Reserva Nacional de Paracas
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia - mainland, islands, islets and stacks
Uruguay Atlantic Ocean and Rio de la Plata mouth

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subantarctic major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 300 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) No decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Geological events Volcanoes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Unknown Past Impact
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Felis catus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Oryctolagus cuniculus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2017) Species factsheet: Thalassarche melanophris. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/12/2017. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2017) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/12/2017.