World Albatross Day sees Australian native transferred to endangered in threatened species list

19 June 2020

On the first international day dedicated to the albatross I have upgraded the threatened species listing for Australia’s Shy Albatross from vulnerable to endangered.

As Australia’s only endemic albatross species, the Shy Albatross breeds on just three islands in the world – all off the coast of Tasmania – these islands are protected and recognised as critical habitat for the species.

Significant progress has been made in abating threats to the Shy Albatross, including the protection of breeding sites and reductions in bycatch from commercial longline fishing, but bycatch in other commercial fisheries, disease and competition with other seabirds were all key factors in my decision to list the species as endangered.

The large seabird was reassessed by the independent expert Threatened Species Scientific Committee, which recommended that I uplist the species because of its limited breeding range and population decline.

I also updated the scientific name of the species from Thalassarche cauta cauta to Thalassarche cauta to reflect current science and to keep consistent with international identification.

Along with 18 other species of albatross found in Australia, the Shy Albatross is included in the National Recovery Plan for threatened albatrosses and giant petrels and the Threat Abatement Plan for the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations.

The Morrison Government is committed to the protection of Australia’s unique habitats and wildlife and will continue to review threatened species listings with the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

World Albatross Day is held on 19 June to mark the anniversary of the signing of the international Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) in Canberra, Australia in 2001. Australia was at the forefront of establishing ACAP as an international body that aims to achieve and maintain a favourable conservation status for threatened albatrosses and petrels.