17 November 2016
This is the final report for the White-capped albatross aerial survey 2015/16.


White-capped albatrosses are endemic to New Zealand, breeding on Disappointment Island, Adams Island and Auckland Island in the Auckland Island group, and Bollons Island in the Anitpodes Island Group.

The population status of white-capped albatrosses breeding on the Auckland Islands was poorly known until 2006 when annual population census was commences using aerial photography, These population censuses have now been conducted over nine years, permitting population size to be estimated and population trends determined.

In January 2016, aerial photographs were obtained for all three colonies (Disappointment Island, South-West Cape and Adams Island). At each colony we conducted two circuits to provide images suitable for counting the breeding birds on the island, which were taken using a photo-extension of 70 mm.

Additional photographs using maximum photo-extension (200 mm or 300mm) were also taken at Disappointment Island, the largest of the colonies, to assist in determining the proportion of empty nests and non-breeding birds in the colonies.

The photos taken are a complete series of overlapping images that cover the entire area of the sites where albatrosses were nesting; approximately 2,200 digital photographs were taken during the survey flight.

Publication information

Baker, G.B. & Jensz, K. 2016. White-capped albatross aerial photographic survey 2013. Report prepared by Latitude 42 for the New Zealand Department of Conservation. 3p. 


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


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