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Blackbrowed Albatross

Thalassarche melanophrys


Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) is the most populous albatross species with world breeding population estimated at about 530,000 pairs. This Sub-Antarctic species nests at 12 sites, the most important being the Falkland Islands, Islas Diego Ramirez, South Georgia, and Iles Kerguelen. Although numerous, the Black-browed Albatross population is currently declining at a rate of roughly 4% per year, with a projected decline of ~65% over three generations (65 years).  This qualifies the species as endangered under the IUCN Red List Category.

Decline of the Black-browed Albatross may be attributable to bycatch in longline fisheries operating in the Patagonian Shelf, south Atlantic, off the southern African coast, and in the Southern Ocean. It was recently noted, that many birds are also being killed by industrial trawl fisheries. High bycatch rates in longline fisheries has abated recently across a large part of the albatross' range thanks to successful application of mitigation measures by CCAMLR and several individual countries. Despite this recent success in mitigating longline bycatch, declining population trends continue.  This may simply be a lag in recovery time from elevated bird mortality prior to bycatch abatement, or it may be the continued effect of ongoing bycatch in non-compliant longline fleets, trawl fisheries, and IUU vessels.


More information about Black-browed Albatross could be found at BirdLife Species Factsheet