Surveying White-capped Albatrosses at the Auckland Islands, New Zealand

For the fourth successive year, an aerial survey of breeding White-capped Albatrosses Thalassarche steadi has been undertaken at the Auckland Islands, south of New Zealand.


Once again, the survey was undertaken by Latitude 42 Environmental Consultants under contract to New Zealand's Ministry of Fisheries.  A helicopter flew the photographic team led by Barry Baker, from Invercargill (South Island, New Zealand), to Enderby Island in the Auckland Group on 3 December 2009 for refuelling.  Aerial photography was then undertaken at Disappointment Island (where the bulk of the species' population breeds), South West Cape on the main island, and at Adams Island.  The helicopter then returned the same day to Invercargill via a second refuelling stop on Enderby.


The five-year study aims to estimate population size and track population trends, as part of larger programme directed at assessing the effects of fishing on the population viability of selected seabird species.  Early indications from the 2009 counts indicate that there were fewer birds breeding on South West Cape than in previous years.  Although count data for Disappointment Island are still being assessed, in previous years counts at this locality have provided a reliable 'litmus' test for population numbers at the other two colonies.


Click here for a report on the previous year's survey.


The ACAP Species Assessment for the White-capped Albatross may be viewed at


News from Barry Baker, Latitude 42 Environmental Consultants, 20 March 2010

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