VU
Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans



Taxonomy

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
- - A4bd

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Vulnerable A4bd
2016 Vulnerable A4bd
2012 Vulnerable A4bd
2010 Vulnerable A4b,d
2008 Vulnerable A4b,d
2007 Vulnerable
2005 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2003 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass -
Range

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 128,000,000 km2 medium
Area of Occupancy (breeding/resident) 1,900 km2 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Severely fragmented? no -
Population
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 20100 mature individuals medium estimated 2007
Population trend decreasing good estimated 1970-2040
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Generation length 23.3 years - - -
Number of subpopulations 5 - - -

Population justification:

In 1998, the total annual breeding population was estimated at 8,500 pairs, equivalent to c. 28,000 mature individuals (Gales 1998). However, current estimates are 1,553 pairs on South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) (Poncet et al. 2006), 1,800 pairs on Prince Edward Island (2008, Ryan et al. 2009), c. 1,900 pairs on Marion Island (2013, ACAP 2009), c. 340 pairs on Iles Crozet (CNRS Chinzè Monitoring Database 2010), c. 354 pairs in Iles Kerguelen (CNRS Chinzè Monitoring Database 2011), and 4 pairs on Macquarie Island (DPIWPE 2010, unpublished data), making a total of c. 6,000 annual breeding pairs. Using the same ratio as Gales (1998) for estimating the number of mature individuals, this would equate to approximately 20,100 mature individuals.

Trend justification: At South Georgia, this species has declined by 1.8% per annum over the past 20 years, and there has been an acceleration in the rate of decrease to over 4% per annum since 1997 (Poncet et al. 2006). Overall, the South Georgian population has declined by 30% between 1984-2004 (Poncet et al. 2006), and by 18% between 2004 and 2015 (A. Wolfaardt in litt. 2016). On Bird Island, adult and post-fledging survival has decreased since the mid 1980s (British Antarctic Survey, unpublished data). On the Crozet Islands, the population stabilised following rapid declines during 1970-1986, but is now declining again (Weimerskirch et al. 1997, Delord et al. 2008). Low juvenile recruitment is believed to be delaying recovery (Weimerskirch et al. 2006). On the Prince Edward Islands, the population is now stable (Nel et al. 2002b, 2002c, Crawford et al. 2003, Ryan et al. 2003, 2009). Overall declines are estimated to exceed 30% over 70 years. However, the long generation time of this species makes it difficult to determine the most appropriate trend period for predicting population trends into the future.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Angola extant vagrant
Antarctica extant native yes
Argentina extant native yes
Australia extant native yes
Bouvet Island (to Norway) extant uncertain
Brazil extant native yes
Chile extant native yes
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) extant native yes
Fiji extant vagrant yes
French Polynesia extant vagrant
French Southern Territories extant native yes
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) extant native yes
High Seas extant native yes
Italy extant vagrant
Japan extant vagrant
Madagascar extant native yes
Mauritius extant vagrant
Mozambique extant native yes
Namibia extant native yes
New Zealand extant native yes
Norfolk Island (to Australia) extant native yes
Panama extant vagrant yes
Portugal extant vagrant
Réunion (to France) extant vagrant
South Africa extant native yes
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands extant native yes
St Helena (to UK) extant native yes
Tonga extant uncertain
Uruguay extant native yes
USA extant vagrant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
South Africa Prince Edward Islands Special Nature Reserve
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia - mainland, islands, islets and stacks
Australia Macquarie Island
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 28 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Western 1 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 12 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 13 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 14 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Western 10 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Western 11 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 34 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Western 25 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Eastern 22 - Marine
High Seas Indian Ocean, Antarctic and Southern 40 - Marine
High Seas South Georgia Marine Protected Area Border North
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 10 - Marine
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 11 - Marine
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 12 - Marine
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 13 - Marine
High Seas Pacific, Southwest 14 - Marine
New Zealand Kaikoura (offshore)
Argentina Talud Patagonia Norte
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia Inner Marine
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia Outer Marine
High Seas South Georgia Marine Protected Area Border West
High Seas Atlantic Scotia Ridge West
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Falklands Marine Outer Exclusive Economic Zone South
Argentina Talud Agujero Azul
Argentina Yaganes
French Southern Territories Île de la Possession
French Southern Territories Île de l'Est
French Southern Territories Île aux Cochons
French Southern Territories Îles des Apôtres
French Southern Territories Péninsule Courbet
French Southern Territories Baie Larose
French Southern Territories Péninsule Rallier du Baty
French Southern Territories Îles Nuageuses and Île Clugny
French Southern Territories Îles Leygues
French Southern Territories Île Foch, Île Sainte Lanne Gramont and Île Howe

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subantarctic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Altitude   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%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation, 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%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
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
Pollution Garbage & solid waste Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Diomedea exulans. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/wandering-albatross-diomedea-exulans on 25/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 25/02/2024.