Distribution and ship attendance of Salvin´s Albatrosses in the South Pacific Ocean revealed in a new study

A recent publication appearing in the journal Polar Biology gives new information on the Salvin´s Albatross Thalassarche salvini in the South Pacific Ocean.

Luis Cabezas and Chilean colleagues observed the distribution and ship attendance of Salvin´s Albatrosses by conducting a one-year study of the interactions between artisanal and industrial longline fisheries and marine mammals and seabirds off Chile.

A relative large number of birds were sighted primarily in the months of June-July (autumn-winter) and March (late summer).  Both adults and juveniles were recorded during the winter, whereas only adults were seen during the summer.

The species was observed over almost the entire range surveyed from 39º to 55ºS, thus covering almost 1200 nautical miles along the Chilean coastline.  Although the species was frequently observed feeding upon fish and offal from the fishing vessels, no individuals were caught on hooks during the study.

The Salvin´s Albatross is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and included in Annex 1 of ACAP and in Appendix II of the Convention of Migratory SpeciesThis study demonstrates the value of fishery observer programmes for increasing our understanding of pelagic seabird distribution, as well as for monitoring fishery compliance.


Cabezas, L.A., Moreno, C.A. & Arata, J. 2009.   New records of Salvin's albatross (Thalassarche salvini) from fishing boats off southern Chile.  Polar Biology 32: 947-951 (click here).

Juan Pablo Seco Pon, South American News Correspondent, 22 July 2010

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