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Diomedea epomophora (Southern royal albatross, Royal albatross) 

Witvlerkkoningalbatros, Witvlerkkoningmalmok, Koningmalmok [Afrikaans]; Koningsalbatros [Dutch]; Albatros royal [French]; Königsalbatroß [German]; Albatroz-real [Portuguese]

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

Diomedea epomophora (Southern royal albatross, Royal albatross)   

Southern royal albatross, offshore of Chile, South America. [photo Pablo Caceres ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds on Campbell and Auckland Island, south of New Zealand, dispersing to the ocean surrounding southern South America and New Zealand in the non-breeding season, sometimes passing through southern African waters on its way, although there have only been a few records since 2000 off the coast of Cape Town. 


It mainly eats squid (especially Moroteuthopsis ingens and Kondakovia longimana), fish, crustaceans and tunicates.


Vulnerable due to mortalities on longlines and loss of habitat at Campbell Island, New Zealand from the spread of the shrub Dracophyllum.


  • 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.