Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

What is the most southerly record of the Waved Albatross off Chile?

The at-sea distribution of the ACAP-listed and Critically Endangered Waved Albatross Phoebastria irrorata is pretty much restricted to the waters of Ecuador and Peru, with occasional sightings off the coasts of Columbia and Panama (click here).

However, there are a few records supported by photographs from Chilean waters with the most southerly I have found so far being at 33°S, 12 nautical miles from Valparaiso on 3 March 2012 reported by Pelágico Aventura, a pelagic seabird watching tour company (click here).

Previously, the most southerly sighting is of a bird near Tongoy, Chile at 30°S, also reported by Pelágico Aventura but without any substantiating details.  Fifteen birds were reported seen during the FONT (Focus on Nature Tours) pelagic trip from Arica (18° 29′S), Chile in the El Niño year of 1997.

Between 4 August and 2 September 2010 BirdLife International's Albatross Task Force Instructor Luis Cabezas reported that "I noticed a couple of beautiful Critically Endangered Waved Albatross, birds that nest in the Galapagos Islands.  This was the first time I had seen this species as they are not normally present this far south in Chilean waters.  I was even more surprised to find that I was recording the southern-most sighting of this species!  I was able to get a couple of photos to confirm the sighting ... close to San Ambrosio Island (26°20'37"S, 079°53'28"W)" (click here).

Waved_Albatross_flying_by_Barry_Baker
Waved Albatross in flight.  Photograph by Barry Baker

ACAP Latest News will be pleased to publish  substantiated records farther south than 33°S of the Waved Albatross in Chilean waters.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 22 November 2012