Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP Breeding Sites, No. 1. The Bounty Islands of New Zealand

The Bounty Islands are a small archipelago of 22 wave-battered islands, islets and rock stacks with a combined area of 135 ha approximately 670 km south-east of New Zealand.  A Nature Reserve, they form part of a World Heritage Site.

Although almost completely bereft of vegetation, the Bounties are home to a multitude of wildlife including New Zealand Fur Seals Arctocephalus forsteri, albatrosses, penguins, cormorants and a variety of smaller petrels.

The islands are the World’s main breeding ground for the ACAP-listed and Vulnerable Salvin’s Albatross Thalassarche salvini which breeds in large colonies across the island group.  In October 2010 a photographic aerial survey of the Bounty Islands realized 41 101 annually breeding pairs (click here).

With animal life filling almost every available space on the exposed parts of the Bounty Islands, Salvin’s Albatrosses and Erect Crested Penguins Eudyptes sclateri have learnt to live side by side. 

Nevertheless, disagreements to occur, and the two species are surprisingly evenly matched when it comes to physical confrontations. 

Aleks Terauds, Australian Antarctic Division, 7 February 2013


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