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Diomedea dabbenena (Tristan albatross) 

Tristangrootalbatros [Afrikaans]; Tristangrootmalmok [Afrikaans]; Albatros de Tristan [French]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Diomedeidae

Distribution and habitat

Breeds on Gough and Inaccessible Island, after which it disperses across the South Atlantic Ocean, especially in the west. It is the third rarest albatross, with a few records in southern African waters off the coast of Cape Town, Namibia and the Eastern Cape, with more records far out at the western edge of southern African territories.

Movements and migrations

Ranges from 29-50 south and 50 West to 15 East.


At breeding colonies it mainly eats squid and fish, supplemented with crustaceans and offal, doing most of its foraging by grabbing prey from the water surface.


Endangered, as its population has been severely affected by mortalities on longlines, since its distribution overlaps with pelagic long-line fisheries in the South Atlantic. It also has a low breeding success rate due to predation of chicks by House mice (Mus musculus), and has abandoned Tristan da Cunha as a nesting site because humans exploited them for food. It has a total population of approximately 10 000 individuals.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.