Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

World Heritage Sites supporting ACAP species

 "Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage".

To the places mentioned in the above quote may be added many of the places where ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels breed. A number of such sites has been registered with the World Heritage Convention, bringing an international status and stature to them. A list of such World Heritage sites and their breeding ACAP species follows, in order of ACAP Party.

Ten World Heritage Sites belonging to seven countries (four of which are Parties to ACAP) in total support breeding populations of 23 of the 31 ACAP-listed species.  Tentative sites are also listed.


Heard & McDonald Islands

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997. Heard Island covers approximately 36 800 ha, the McDonald Islands 1 800 ha, and the territory nominated as a World Heritage Site includes the adjacent offshore rocks and shoals. The area includes all territorial waters to a distance of 12 nautical miles. Breeding ACAP species are Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Phoebetria palpebrata and Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus. The Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans has bred in the past. and See also: and

Macquarie Island

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997. Comprises Macquarie Island, Bishop and Clerk Islets, Judge and Clerk Islets and surrounding waters to a distance of 12 nautical miles. There are seven ACAP-listed breeding species: Wandering Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross T. chrysostoma, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel, Northern Giant Petrel M. halli and Grey Petrel Procellaria cinerea. and See also:

Tasmanian Wilderness

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The site includes the offshore islets of Mewstone and Pedra Branca that support two of the three breeding populations of the Shy Albatross T. cauta.

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Galápagos National Park and Marine Reserve

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978 and extended in 2001. Placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2007. Includes the island of Española, breeding locality of the Waved Albatross Phoebastria irrorata. A 40-nm marine reserve surrounds the archipelago. and


Ogasawara Islands

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2011. Consists of 30 islands clustered in three groups with an area of 7939 ha.  Black-footed Phoebastria nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis Albatrosses breed and a translocated colony of Short-tailed Albatrosses P. albatrus is being established on Mukojima Island.

 See also and


Archipiélago de Revillagigedo

Listed in 2016.  Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses breed.


New Zealand Subantarctic Islands

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1998. The World Heritage Site includes five island groups (Antipodes, Auckland, Bounty, Campbell and Snares), including their 12-nm territorial seas. A total of 12 ACAP-listed species breeds within the World Heritage Site: *Antipodes Albatross D. antipodensis (and its subspecies *Gibson's Albatross D. a. gibsoni), *Southern Royal Albatross D. epomophora, Black-browed Albatross, *Campbell Albatross T. impavida, Grey-headed Albatross, Salvin's Albatross T. salvini, *White-capped Albatross T. steadi, Buller's Albatross T. bulleri, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis and Grey Petrel.

*Endemic/near-endemic to the World Heritage Site. and

Solander Islands

The two Solander Islands are included within the Fiordland National Park (which itself falls within the Te Wāhipounamu - South West New Zealand World Heritage Area inscribed in 1990).  Only one ACAP-listed species breeds: the Southern Buller’s Albatross Thalassarche b. bulleri.


Department of Conservation 1997. Subantarctic Islands Heritage. Nomination of the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands by the Government of New Zealand for Inclusion in the World Heritage List. Wellington: Department of Conservation. 76 pp. ISBN 0-478-01910-0.


Gough and Inaccessible Islands

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1995 (Gough Island) and extended to include Inaccessible Island in 2004. The extended site includes both islands and their territorial waters out to 12 nautical miles.  ACAP species breeding are Tristan Albatross D. dabbenena (endemic to the World Heritage Site), Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. chlororhynchos, Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca, Southern Giant Petrel, Grey Petrel and Spectacled Petrel Procellaria conspicillata (endemic to the World Heritage Site). and


Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010.  Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses breed and two pairs of Short-tailed Albatrosses have bred on eight island groups in the North-western Hawaiian Island chain, total area 36 207499 ha.


Before a potential site may be considered for World Heritage status, a country is required to place it on its tentative list.  A number of breeding sites of ACAP-listed species has been so listed by five countries, two of which (Norway and South Africa) are parties to ACAP, as listed below with the year of placement on the tentative list.

Norway:  Bouvet Island, listed 2007. Southern Giant Petrels have been recorded breeding in the past but may no longer do so due to loss of suitable habitat to marine erosion.

France: Has initiated a process to add its Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (the islands of Amsterdam, Crozets, Kerguelen and St Paul) to its Tentative List.

South Africa: Prince Edward Islands, listed 2009, but later withdrawn.  Would have added the Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri to the list of ACAP species breeding within World Heritage sites.

For information on books on the above islands and island groups click here and here; for information on management plans click here.

Last updated 19 July 2016