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Shy albatross

Shy albatross adult on sea

Image: Guy Shorrock

Breeding pairs remaining in the world: 12,750
Where do they breed?: Albatross Island, Pedra Branca and Mewstone (Tasmania)
Wingspan: 210-260 cm
Length (beak to tail): 90-100 cm
Average lifespan: Up to 30 years
Diet: Mainly fish, marine molluscs, shrimps, lobsters and tunicates (barrel-like filter feeders)
Scientific name:Thalassarche cauta
Threat level: Near Threatened

Why they need your help

Working out where this albatross species forages for food is made difficult by its similar appearance to other albatrosses.

We do have some tracking data, though, which shows that adults appear to be relatively sedentary and remain concentrated around Tasmania and southern Australia. In these waters they do not really get caught as fisheries bycatch.

However, ring recoveries from birds caught off South Africa and New Zealand suggest that juveniles roam over a far larger area. This puts them in greater contact with fishing fleets, and makes them much more likely to be caught as fisheries bycatch.

A disease called avian pox virus has been recorded in chicks on Albatross Island, and is a potentially serious threat to the species survival here.

How you can help

Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross gliding over the ocean

Support the work of the RSPB by becoming a member. You'll not only be helping our work to save the albatross, but also providing vital support to our birds and wildlife, and the habitats they depend on.

Join the RSPB

How you can help

Albatross Task Force member Barry Watkins on board the Aloe

Support the Albatross Task Force. These dedicated individuals are working with fishermen at sea in rough conditions, as well as onshore, showing them how to prevent albatross deaths.

Make a donation

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