This is the final report for BCBC2020-09: Integrated population model of Antipodean albatross for simulating management scenarios.


Antipodean albatross Diomedea antipodensis antipodensis are endemic to New Zealand, with the quasi-totality of the population nesting on Antipodes Island. The species is classified as Nationally Critical due to a potential demographic decline. Threats to the population include incidental mortality in fisheries (in New Zealand and in international waters) and climate change.

The objective of this project was to provide a tool that allows stakeholders to explore the potential impact of threats and the demographic outcomes of management strategies. Using the tool, simulations of the demographic impact of different scenarios may be carried out so that management strategies can be assessed and prioritised.

A small subset of the population of Antipodean albatross has been studied since 1994, and these field data were used to perform the simulations. A Bayesian integrated population model was developed to estimate the main demographic parameters of the population. The model considered detectability of individuals, inter-annual variability, and movements in and out of the study area; it was fitted using the software Stan.

From the model, the annual survival rate for females was estimated to decline from 0.947 (95% c.i.: 0.914 – 0.974) in the period from 1994 to 2004, to 0.882 (95% c.i.: 0.814 – 0.94) after 2005. Estimated survival for males was higher, at 0.946 (95% c.i.: 0.913 – 0.972) and 0.927 (95% c.i.: 0.887 – 0.961) for the two periods. Breeding success also declined between the two periods, from 72.4% (95% c.i.: 65.8% – 78.6%) from 1994 to 2004 to 63.7% (95% c.i.: 53.4% – 73%) subsequently.

Under the current scenario, simulations suggest a significant decline of the population, with an annual growth rate of -4.84% (95% c.i.: -6.07% – -3.65%). Limitations in the data and in the model assumptions may cause the decline to be slightly overestimated; however, the trend remains of concerns.

The simulation tool is aimed to assist conservation managers with the prioritisation of management strategies to mitigate threats to the Antipodean albatross population and to guarantee the persistence of this species. Access the simulation tool.

Publication information

Richard, Y. 2021. Integrated population model of Antipodean albatross for simulating management scenarios. BCBC2020-09 final report prepared by Dragonfly Data Science for the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation. 31 p.


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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