Family Albatrosses (Diomedeidae)


Antipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis)


French: Albatros des Antipodes German: Antipodenalbatros Spanish: Albatros de las Antípodas

Diomedea exulans antipodensis

Robertson and Warham

, 1992,

Antipodes Island and Campbell Island, in South Pacific


Initially described as a race of D. exulans; later elevated to species level on basis of ecological differences, although this appears to refer only to timing of breeding, and morphological diagnosability, consisting of: adult female dark brown, pattern resembling immature plumage of other taxa, and adult male smaller with shorter bill#R. However, “there are no simple plumage features to distinguish [it] from other ‘wanderers’”#R, and some specimens indistinguishable from D. amsterdamensis#R#R; hence no scoring attempted (see also comments under D. amsterdamensis). Level of genetic differentiation reported to be low#R or relatively high#R; one work argues that each form (less gibsoni) in the exulans group represents “a distinct, evolutionarily important population for which a unique biological history exists”#R, based on natal philopatry and at-sea distribution patterns. This arrangement, although rejected by several authorites#R#R, is accepted by ACAP (Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels)#R and, pending further clarifications, provisionally and precautionarily also here. Races differ subtly in morphology, and their distinctiveness as either two species or two races of one species remains unclarified#R#R#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. a. antipodensis Robertson & Warham, 1992 – Antipodean Albatross – breeds in Antipodes Is and (few pairs) on Campbell I, and Pitt I in Chatham Is, E & S of New Zealand; forages in S Pacific E of New Zealand, E as far as coast of Chile.
  • D. a. gibsoni Robertson & Warham, 1992 – Gibson's Albatross – breeds in Auckland Is (Disappointment I, Auckland I and Adams I), S of New Zealand; may forage mostly W of New Zealand over Tasman Sea and S of Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 110–117 cm; male up to 7240 g, female up to 5790 g (antipodensis) or male 5500–8600 g, female 4600–7300 g (gibsoni); wingspan 2·... read more


    Guttural croaks, much as for D. exulans.


    Breeds on small islands, usually on higher ground (> 100 m above sea-level). Forages over... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds mostly on cephalopods, fish and crustaceans, especially squid, with fish of secondary importance, though regularly visits spawning... read more


    Eggs laid between late Dec and late Jan in Auckland Is (race gibsoni) and early Jan to early Feb in Antipodes (nominate), with... read more


    Moves widely over SW Pacific Ocean, Southern Ocean and the Tasman Sea. Main foraging areas of... read more

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Auckland Islands EBA and Antipodes Islands Secondary Area. Breeds only on six small islands. Figures for global population... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fjeldså, J., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Antipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 February 2020).