Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

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Buller's Albatross

Thalassarche bulleri Rothschild, 1893

Updated on 16-Aug-2008
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable Near Threatened Least Concern Not Listed
Sometimes referred to as
Conservation Listings and Plans
Breeding Biology
Breeding States
Breeding Sites
Conservation Listings and Plans for the Breeding Sites
Population Trends
Breeding Sites: Threats
Foraging Ecology and Diet
Marine Distribution
Marine Threats
Key Gaps in Species Assessment
Compiled by
Recommended Citation

Any signifies a link showing the relevant reference.


SpeciesT. bulleri


Originally described as Diomedea bulleri (Rothschild 1893) and D. platei (Reichenow 1898) the two taxa were long considered to be subspecies [5 ]until recently when it was suggested that they should be treated as distinct species [6 ]. It was also suggested that the type specimen of T. platei was in fact an immature T. bulleri [6 ], however, the recognition of the taxa as two separate species remained controversial [7, 8 ]. Most recently, following scrutiny of morphological data, and in the absence of genetic data, the ACAP Taxonomy Working Group recommended that these taxa do not warrant specific status and further recommended that they be listed as T.b. bulleri and T.b. platei pending the collection and analysis of additional morphological, behavioural and molecular genetic data which might be used to distinguish them reliably [9 ].

Conservation Listings and Plans


National – New Zealand

– Range Restricted; (listed separately, as Thalassarche bulleri and Thalassarche nov. sp.) [4 ]

Breeding Biology


Thalassarche bulleri is a colonial, annual breeding species with each breeding cycle lasting about 8 months. In T.b. bulleri most eggs are laid during January, hatch March-April, and the chicks fledge in August-September (Table 1) [10 ]. At least 3 years after fledging, immature birds begin to return to a breeding colony. However, the average age of first breeding is 10-11 years, when they begin breeding annually, with males mostly returning to their natal colony while only about half the females do so, the rest breed in adjacent colonies [11 ]. For T.b. platei eggs are laid in October-November, hatch in January, and the chicks fledge in June-July (Table 1) [12 ].



Table 1. Breeding cycle of T. bulleri.

T.b. bulleri

At colonies


Egg laying


Chick provisioning

T.b. platei

At colonies


Egg laying


Chick provisioning

Breeding site name Jurisdiction Latitude Longitude Size of breeding site (hectares)
Alert Stack, Alert Stack New Zealand 48° 02' S 166° 34' E
Broughton Island, Broughton Island New Zealand 48° 02' S 166° 37' E 10,000
Great Solander Island, Great Solander Island New Zealand 46° 35' S 166° 54' E 100
Little Solander Island, Little Solander Island New Zealand 46° 34' 09" S 166° 51' 46" E 8
North-East Island , North-East Island New Zealand 48° 01' S 166° 36' E 280
Rosemary Rock, Rosemary Rock New Zealand 34° 10' 54" S 172° 03' 22" E
The Big Sister, The Big Sister New Zealand 43° 34' S 176° 49' W
The Forty-fours, The Forty-fours New Zealand 43° 58' S 175° 45' W
The Little (Middle) Sister, The Little (Middle) Sister New Zealand 43° 34' S 176° 49' W
Toru Islet, Toru Islet New Zealand 48° 03' S 166° 31' E

Frequency of occurrence in region
Resident/ Breeding and feeding rangeForaging range onlyFew records - outside core foraging range

Known ACAP Range StatesNew ZealandAustralia

Regional Fisheries Management OrganisationsWCPFC

CCSBT - Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna
IOTC - Indian Ocean Tuna Commission
IATTC - Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
SPRFMO - South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation
WCPFC - Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission