Bird of the Week, July 29, 2011
Waved Albatross

Waved Albatrosses by Hugo Arnal

The Waved is the only albatross species that breeds in the equatorial region. It prefers to nest in sparsely vegetated areas maintained by native giant tortoises. However, the tortoises have declined throughout the Galápagos, and the albatrosses are now forced to nest in ever-thicker scrub, which may entangle and trap chicks.


The bird is sometimes captured for human consumption in Peru, though this practice seems to have declined steeply in recent years thanks to the concerted efforts of ABC partner Pro Delphinus.   Accidental bycatch has also been found to be a major source of adult mortality. Since 2007, ABC has been working with Pro Delphinus and Ecuadorian NGO Equilibrio Azul to collect data from observers aboard the fishing fleets of northern Peru and southern Ecuador, where significant Waved Albatross bycatch was documented for the first time in 2009.


ABC and partners are now working to develop bycatch reduction strategies with the fishermen and the Ecuadorian government. ABC, Equilibrio Azul, and Island Conservation have also collaborated on local education initiatives and invasive species removal on Isla de la Plata.


Conservation of the Waved Albatross is an important focus of the international Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP), which is having its annual meeting in Ecuador for the first time in September 2011, but to which the U.S. has yet to become a party. 


Click here for more about ACAP and ABC’s efforts to halt the declines of the

Waved Albatross!

Photo: Waved Albatrosses by Hugo Arnal; Range Map: ABC