Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

The Amsterdam Albatross and other seabirds of the French territories in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica

Olivier Duriez (CNRS-CEFE) and Karine Delord (CNRS-CEBC) have published an illustrated account in the journal Ornithos of the birds of Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (TAAF) in French, one of the three official languages of the Albatross and Petrel Agreement.

TAAF includes the sub-Antarctic island groups of Crozet, St Paul and Amsterdam and Kerguelen in the southern Indian Ocean and Terre Adélie on the Antarctic Continent.  Ornithos is a full-colour journal that appears six times a year and is published by the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO), the BirdLife  International partner in France.

Notably, the article includes pictures of a flying immature Amsterdam Albatross Diomedea amsterdamensis and an adult with a downy chick, a species not often illustrated.  The Critically Endangered Amsterdam Albatross is the World's rarest albatross and is endemic to TAAF, breeding only on Amsterdam Island.  The annually breeding population is about 25-30 pairs, with an estimated total population of around 150 birds.

Amsterdam_Albatross_by_Scott_Shaffer
Amsterdam Albatross.  Photograph by Scott Shaffer

Click here to access the ACAP Species Assessment for the Amsterdam Albatross (and of the other seven albatross and four ACAP-listed petrel species that breed within the TAAF).  A table in the Ornithos article lists these 12 species with their French breeding localities and estimates of breeding populations.

Reference:

Duriez, O. & Delord, K. 2012.  Manchots, pétrels et albatros: oiseaux des Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (TAAF).  Ornithos 19: 162-183.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 30 October 2012