NT
Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
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.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Near Threatened A4bd
2016 Near Threatened A4bd
2012 Near Threatened A4bd
2010 Near Threatened A4b,d
2008 Vulnerable A4b,d
2005 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2003 Vulnerable
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
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) 49,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 44,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 3,500 medium
Number of locations 16 -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1600000 good estimated 2006
Population trend Stable 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) 20-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations 3 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 28.5 - - -

Population justification: The population is estimated to be more than c. 800,000 breeding pairs, equivalent to c.1,600,000 mature individuals (Arata et al. 2009). Midway Atoll, Laysan Island and French Frigate Shoals support 90% of the global breeding population.

Trend justification: Population sizes at monitored colonies increased between 1980 and 1995 but have never reached the densities observed prior to large-scale harvests for feathers in the early 1900s. Data indicate a 32% decline during 1992-2002 (3.2% per annum) in populations on Midway Atoll, Laysan Island and French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, where 90% of the global population is found (Gilman and Freifeld 2003, USFWS data per B. Flint 2003). However, data from 2004 and 2005 indicate that the breeding population then rebounded, and that the overall population trend for 1992-2005 is stable, perhaps because these changes in the breeding populations were reflective of large scale environmental conditions that affected the number of birds that returned to the colonies to nest rather than actual declines in the population (Naughton et al. 2007). A population began nesting in Mexico in the 1980s and has been increasing since then. The current population is about 400 pairs at four sites, although this represents less than 0.1% of the global population (Naughton et al. 2007). Considering such data, and the difficulty of of predicting long-term trends for such a long-lived species, a decline of 20-29% over the period 1992-2078 is precautionarily estimated given the number of documented threats and the uncertainty over their future effects.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Canada N Extant Yes Yes
China (mainland) U Extant
Japan N Extant Yes
Marshall Islands N Extant Yes
Mexico N Extant Yes
Micronesia, Federated States of N Extant Yes
New Zealand V Extant
Norfolk Island (to Australia) V Extant
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
South Korea U Extant
Taiwan, China U Extant
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 2 - Marine
Mexico Isla Guadalupe
Russia (Asian) Commander Islands
USA Buldir & Near Islands Marine
USA Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
USA Lehua Islet
USA Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
USA Off Jasper Seamount, 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
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
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Canis familiaris Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Felis catus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Mus musculus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Rattus exulans Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Garbage & solid waste Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success

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 immutabilis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2019.