Australia upgrades national status of the Grey-headed Albatross from Vulnerable to Endangered

On 24 December 2009, the Australian Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP, transferred the Grey-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma from the national category of Vulnerable to Endangered in terms of Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999.

In 2007, 94 breeding pairs were reported for the Macquarie Island World Heritage Area, Australia's only breeding site for the species.  The small colony is at increasing risk from erosion  caused by the large rabbit population, and this was the primary reason for the recategorization. 

The attempt at the eradication of rabbits (and rodents) commences this year on Macquarie (click here for the eradication plan). See also

Click here for the full rationale for the upgrading and here for the Australian species profile for the Grey-headed Albatross. 

The international status of the Grey-headed Albatross remains as Vulnerable.  The world population is given as 96 000 breeding pairs in the ACAP Species Assessment (click here), of which less than 1% breed within Australian territory. 

Australia's  "National Recovery Plan for Threatened Albatrosses and Giant Petrels 2009-2014" is in a draft stage and will set out in detail the conservation actions required for the Grey-headed Albatross, as well as for the other ACAP-listed species that occur within Australia.  Click here for the current recovery plan for the nominal period 2001-2005.

 John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 9 January 2009

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

About ACAP

ACAP Secretariat

119 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000

Tel: +61 3 6165 6674