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the web of life in southern Africa

Thalassarche salvini (Salvin's albatross) 

Salvinalbatros [Afrikaans]; Salvinmalmok [Afrikaans]; Albatros de Salvin [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 salvini (Salvin's albatross)   

Salvin's albatross, offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]


Distribution and habitat

Mainly breeds at Bounty Island and the Snares Island, New Zealand, after which it disperses across the South Pacific Ocean  to the west coast of South America, while more scarce off western Australia, the East Indian Ocean and southern African waters. Here it is a rare vagrant, with a few records since 2000 off the coast of the Western Cape.


Vulnerable, as its largest colony on Bounty Island decreased by approximately 60% between 1978 and 1998 and is continuing to do so, now standing at roughly 30 000 pairs. The sole cause of this appears to be mortalities on longlines.


  • 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.