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The conservation status and priorities for albatrosses and large petrels


Phillips, RA and Gales, R and Baker, GB and Double, MC and Favero, M and Quintana, F and Tasker, ML and Weimerskirch, H and Uhart, M and Wolfaardt, A, The conservation status and priorities for albatrosses and large petrels, Biological Conservation, 201 pp. 169-183. ISSN 0006-3207 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.06.017


Seabirds are amongst the most globally-threatened of all groups of birds, and conservation issues specific to albatrosses (Diomedeidae) and large petrels (Procellaria spp. and giant petrels Macronectes spp.) led to drafting of the multi-lateral Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). Here we review the taxonomy, breeding and foraging distributions, population status and trends, threats and priorities for the 29 species covered by ACAP. Nineteen (66%) are listed as threatened by IUCN, and 11 (38%) are declining. Most have extensive at-sea distributions, and the greatest threat is incidental mortality (bycatch) in industrial pelagic or demersal longline, trawl or artisanal fisheries, often in both national and international waters. Mitigation measures are available that reduce bycatch in most types of fisheries, but some management bodies are yet to make these mandatory, levels of implementation and monitoring of compliance are often inadequate, and there are insufficient observer programmes collecting robust data on bycatch rates. Intentional take, pollution (including plastic ingestion), and threats at colonies affect fewer species than bycatch; however, the impacts of disease (mainly avian cholera) and of predation by introduced species, including feral cats (Felis catus), rats (Rattus spp.) and house mice (Mus musculus), are severe for some breeding populations. Although major progress has been made in recent years in reducing bycatch rates and in controlling or eradicating pests at breeding sites, unless conservation efforts are intensified, the future prospects of many species of albatrosses and large petrels will remain bleak.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:anthropogenic impacts, conservation management, invasive species, non-target species, population trends, regional fisheries management organisations
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Population ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Baker, GB (Dr Barry Baker)
ID Code:116821
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:127
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-05-23
Last Modified:2018-04-20

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