NT
Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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.
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Near Threatened A4cd
2016 Near Threatened A4cd
2013 Near Threatened A4cd
2012 Vulnerable A4bd
2010 Endangered A4b,d
2008 Endangered A3b,d
2005 Endangered
2004 Endangered
2003 Endangered
2000 Vulnerable
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

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

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 146,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 29 medium
Number of locations 12 -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals good estimated 2006
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) 20-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations 4 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 18.8 - - -

Population justification:

The breeding season population is estimated to 69,404 pairs, equivalent to 138,808 breeding individuals (ACAP 2012).

Trend justification: Monitoring data from three colonies in Hawaii, representing over 75% of the world's population, suggest that numbers may have decreased by 9.6% between 1992 and 2001 (Gilman and Freifeld 2003, USFWS data per E. Flint 2003). However, linear regression analysis of log-transformed counts at the same colonies suggests that the species’ population has remained stable since at least 1957 and has increased overall since 1923, and matrix modelling suggests that its population is currently stable or increasing slightly (Arata et al. 2009). In addition, trends over a three generation period (56 years) commencing in 1956 were estimated at +26% using TRIM (ACAP unpubl. data).

In 2003, estimated rates of incidental mortality in longline fisheries in the North Pacific Ocean (based on a moderate bycatch scenario of 8,000 birds being killed per year) resulted in a projected future decline of more than 60% over the next three generations (56 years), if bycatch mortality was not reduced through mitigation measures (Lewison and Crowder 2003). However, the demographic parameters for Lewison and Crowder’s (2003) model, namely survival probability, growth probability and fecundity, were based on data from the 1960s and 1970s, for which it was incorrectly assumed that no bycatch took place (Arata et al. 2009). This implies that the basic parameters for a stable population with no additional mortality were actually estimated from a population already experiencing significant bycatch, and were thus underestimated. This appears to have led to an overestimation of the declines that would result from the annual bycatch scenarios tested by Lewison and Crowder (2003), by counting this source of mortality both within the demographic parameter estimates and within the simulation scenario, effectively doubling the impact of fisheries (Arata et al. 2009). Nevertheless, likely bycatch levels are still predicted to cause a decline in the population, albeit not as rapid as previously projected (Arata et al. 2009). Other studies on this species have confirmed the impact of fisheries bycatch on survival (Verán et al. 2007) and the annual population growth rate (Niel and Lebreton 2005). Annual bycatch was estimated at 5,228 birds in 2005, which, if doubled to account for underestimation, approaches the maximum Potential Biological Removal (PBR) level of 11,980 birds, which is calculated to be the maximum level of off-take possible without causing a decline (Arata et al. 2009). The maximum PBR level for this species has also been estimated at 8,850 birds per year (Niel and Lebreton 2005) and 10,000 birds per year (Cousins and Cooper 2000).

It still remains necessary to robustly model the future impact of bycatch on this species. In the meantime, given the risk of bycatch approaching PBR, and potential risk to nesting habitat from sea-level rise modelled for Midway Atoll, site of the world’s largest Black-footed Albatross colony (Storlazzi et al. 2013, Reynolds et al. 2015), it seems appropriate to precautionarily project future declines approaching 630% over the next 56 years (three generations).


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Canada N Extant Yes Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Guam (to USA) N Extant Yes
Japan N Extant Yes Yes
Marshall Islands N Extant Yes
Mexico N Extant Yes Yes
Micronesia, Federated States of N Extant Yes
New Zealand V Extant
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) U Extant
Palau U Extant
Philippines U Extant
Russia N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
South Korea N Extant Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant Yes Yes
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes Yes
USA N Extant Yes Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
High Seas Pacific, Eastern Central 1 - Marine
High Seas Pacific, Eastern Central 2 - Marine
Japan Mukojima islands
Japan Senkaku islands
Japan Torishima island
Taiwan, China Yieliu
USA Gulf of Alaska Shelf Edge 148W59N
USA La Perouse Bank
USA Lehua Islet
USA Lehua Islet
USA Mendocino Coast Pelagic, CA
USA Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
USA Olympic Continental Shelf
USA San Mateo Coast, CA

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Abyssopelagic (4000-6000m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Bathypelagic (1000-4000m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 50 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%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 3
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Geological events Volcanoes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Garbage & solid waste Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Handicrafts, jewellery, etc. - - International Non-trivial Recent
Handicrafts, jewellery, etc. - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Phoebastria nigripes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/11/2019.