Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Monitoring Black-browed Albatrosses and Southern Giant Petrels in the South Atlantic in 2020/21

 Steeple Jason 5 Ian Strange

Black-browed Albatrosses breeding on Steeple Jason

Sarah Crofts and Andrew Stanworth (Falklands Conservation) have produced a report that details results of monitoring study populations of eight seabird species, including the ACAP-listed Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris and the Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus, that bred in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)* during 2020/21.

Extracts from the report’s summary follow:

“The Falkland Islands support seabird populations that are of global importance; both numerically, and in terms of conservation status. Accordingly, fluctuations in local populations may substantially affect the global conservation status of these species.

The Falkland Islands Seabird Monitoring Programme (FISMP) monitors Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) at 11 sites (17 colonies), Southern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes c. chrysocome) at five sites (14 colonies) and Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) at one site (one colony). King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) and Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) are monitored at single, but key sites, in terms of population numbers.  Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) is monitored at one site (two colonies), Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps) at three sites (four colonies) and Brown Skua (Catharacta antarctica) at one site (four colonies).

Black-browed Albatross breeding pair numbers at the monitoring sites at Steeple Jason showed an overall decrease of 1 % when compared with 2019. Taking into account annual fluctuations, the overall FISMP trend suggests a stable population. The overall breeding success in 2020 remained below the annual average for the sixth consecutive year, although was improved when compared with 2019.

Southern Giant Petrel Steeple Dec 70 Ian Strange 2

A Southern Giant Petrel breeding on Steeple Jason

Photographs by Ian Strange

Southern Giant Petrel breeding pair numbers at Steeple Jason increased by 6 % when compared with 2019. The overall increase reflected the positive trend at the Neck colony, whereas the Northwest colony continued to decline. In 2020, breeding success of 15 % was well below the long-term annual average of 32 %.”

With thanks to Michelle Winnard, Communications and Marketing Officer, Falklands Conservation.  45 pp.


Crofts, S. & Stanworth, A. 2021.  Falkland Islands Seabird Monitoring Programme - Annual Report 2020/2021 (SMP28).  Stanley: Falklands Conservation.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 29 July 2021

*A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Georgias del Sur y Islas Sandwich del Sur) and the surrounding maritime areas.