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Salvin's Albatross

 Salvin's Albatross (Thalassarche salvini)

Salvin's Albatross
Formerly a subspecies of the “shy” group, this species is now recognised as a distinct species. Breeds mainly on the Bounty Islands, a cluster of windswept rocks about 300 miles to the east of the South Island, with 30,750 breeding pairs equating to 99% of the total population (Birldlife International). There is also a small colony, estimated at 1,111 pairs, which breed on the Snares, situated about 130 miles south-west from the bottom of the South Island.

These birds breed in densely packed colonies on small rocky islands with nests as close as 1 metre apart. They feed mainly on squid and fish.

Young Salvin's albatross fly to the east of New Zealand and spend several years off the west coast of South America. Most Salvin’s albatross leave Kaikoura at the end of summer and are assumed to migrate to South America following the Humboldt Current System, although a few stragglers are still sometimes observed in Kaikoura during winter time.

Salvin’s albatross are the least studied albatross species and have also suffered high mortality rates from longline and trawl fishing.