Albatross chick prepares for their first flight
Image: DOC


Albatrosses are the world's largest flying seabirds. They spend at least 85% of their lives at sea returning to land (usually remote islands) to breed and raise their young.

Naturally low productivity, combined with changes in climate and habitat conditions and certain fishing practices, make these seabirds highly vulnerable.

Until recently scientists recognised 14 different species of albatrosses, but new research using DNA technology has confirmed as many as 24.

Thirteen varieties breed in the New Zealand region – more than anywhere else in the world. Several are extremely rare, like the Antipodean albatross which breed in the sub Antarctic Island of Antipodes.

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