Population changes and biology of the Antipodean wandering albatross ( Diomedea antipodensis )
|Title||Population changes and biology of the Antipodean wandering albatross ( Diomedea antipodensis )|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|Authors||Walker, K, Elliott, G|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||Antipodean wandering albatross, Antipodes Islands, Diomedea antipodensis, population, productivity, survival|
The Antipodean wandering albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) is endemic to Antipodes Island in the New Zealand subantarctic. A programme of regular census and population study was initiated on Antipodes Island in 1994 to determine the status of the species. This paper reports on field work carried out every summer from 1994 to 2005. Aspects of breeding biology are described and compared with those of other species of wandering albatross, particularly the closely related Gibson's wandering albatross (D. gibsoni) on Adams Island. Average annual survival over 10 years was 0.957. Productivity was measured over 11 years and averaged 0.74 chicks per nesting pair. Survivorship was similar to that in the increasing Diomedea exulans population on Crozet Island, and productivity higher than recorded in all other wandering albatross populations. Between 1994 and 1997, the average annual number of pairs nesting on Antipodes Island was 5136. There is evidence of population decline during the 1970s but numbers are now increasing.