Thalassarche carteri (Indian yellow-nosed albatross) 

Indiese geelneusalbatros [Afrikaans]; Indiese geelneusmalmok [Afrikaans]; Albatros de l’océan indien [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 carteri (Indian yellow-nosed albatross) 

Indian yellow-nosed albatross, offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Thalassarche carteri (Indian yellow-nosed albatross) 

Indian yellow-nosed albatross, offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Breeds on islands in the south-west Indian Ocean, dispersing across the South Indian Ocean in the non-breeding season, mainly between 25-50° South. It is common off the southern and eastern coasts of South Africa, while more scarce off the northern Cape and southern Mozambique.

Predators and parasites

  • Parasites at breeding colonies
    • Pasturella multicida (avian cholera)
    • Erysipelothrix rhusiopathidae (bacterium)

Movements and migrations

Present year-round off the south coast, although it is most common in the period from June-September, as most birds return to their breeding colonies in August.

Food 

It mainly eats fish, supplemented with crustaceans, squid and offal from fishing vessels. It does most of its foraging by catching prey on the water surface, or occasionally diving to greater depths, The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • fish
    • Scomberesox saurus (Saury)
    • Etrumeus whiteheadi (Round herring)
    • Engraulis encrasicolus (Anchovy)
    • Sardinops sagax (Sardine)
    • Trachurus trachurus (Horse mackerel)
    • Lampanyctodes hectoris (lanternfish)
  • pelagic crustaceans
  • squid
  • fishery bycatch and offal

Threats

Although previously classified as Vulnerable, it is now considered Endangered due to a continually decreasing population at its main breeding colony at Amsterdam Island; the population has decreased there by 50% from 1980-2000. This is thought to have been largely caused by parasite infestations in chicks and adults, and it is also seriously affected by mortalities on longlines. Thankfully its breeding colony on Prince Edward Island is still stable.

References

  • 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. 

 
 

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