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Thalassarche eremita (Chatham albatross) 

Chathamalbatros [Afrikaans]; Chathammalmok [Afrikaans]; Albatros des Chatham [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

Thalassarche eremita (Chatham albatross)   

Chatham albatross, offshore from Chile, South America. [photo Pablo Caceres ]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds on Pyramid Rock, Chatham Island, east of New Zealand, after which it rapidly migrates across the South Pacific to spend the period from April-June off Chile and Peru. There is only one confirmed record of it in southern African waters, as it was spotted following a fishing vessel approximately 50km south-west of Cape Point, Western Cape in 2001.


It mainly eats offal, fish, crustaceans and squid, often following fishing vessels in search of food scraps.


Critically endangered, with an approximate global population of just 5300 pairs, largely caused by mortalities on longlines, habitat degradation from storms and occasional illegal harvesting of chicks.


  • 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.