July 2014
This report describes the results from aerial surveys in 2010 and 2013 to investigate the population size and trend of Salvin's albatross at the Bounty Islands.


Salvin’s albatrosses Thalassarche salvini is an abundant albatross species present throughout the year on all continental shelf areas around New Zealand. This species is essentially endemic to New Zealand, breeding mainly on the Bounty Islands and the Western Chain of The Snares.

The population status of this species is poorly known. In October 2010 and 2013 we completed aerial surveys of the Bounty Islands and photographed all albatross colonies we observed. The photographs were used to compile photo-montages of each colony, and these images were used to count the breeding birds on each island. Ground counts of nesting Salvin’s albatrosses were also undertaken on Proclamation Island on 23 October 2013, to determine the proportions of nests containing eggs and non-breeding birds present in the colony.

Estimated annual counts for all breeding sites in the Bounty Islands were adjusted to account for the presence of non-breeding birds, giving an estimate of the annual breeding pairs in 2013 of 39,995 (95% CI 39,595 - 40,395).

Aerial survey of the Bounty Islands proved to be an effective method of rapidly assessing the population size of Salvin’s albatross in the Bounty Islands, and our population estimates of represent the first complete population surveys of the species on the archipelago.

Publication information

This report was commissioned by the Department of Conservation, Project POP2012-06

By G. Barry Baker, Katrina Jensz & Paul Sagar


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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