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Australian Wildlife

  Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora)





Royal Albatross | Diomedea epomophora photo
Southern Royal Albatross off Kaikoura

Image by Mark Jobling - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Royal Albatross | Diomedea epomophora photo
Southern Royal Albatrosses (Diomedea epomophora) at Campbell Island

Image by Mila Zinkova - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Royal Albatross | Diomedea epomophora photo
Southern Royal Albatross in flight

Image by Mila Zinkova - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



ROYAL ALBATROSS FACTS

Description
The Royal Albatross has a white head and body with black speckles on the mantle. The wings are dark brown or black with white markings on the wing coverts. The tail is white with black tip. The bill is pink with black on the cutting edge on the upper mandible. Legs are fleshy colour. The Royal Albatross is similar in appearance to the Wandering Albatross.

Size
Length: 115cm - 123cm. Wingspan 2.75m - 3.05m. Weight: about 8.5kg

Habitat
southern oceans

Food
The Royal Albatross feeds on squid, fish, crustaceans and some carrion.

Breeding
Royal Albatrosses nest on tussock grassland, plateaus, or ridges. The female lays a single egg every second year. Both parents incubate the egg, and rear the young. The birds live to about 42 years.

Range
Most of the world's population of Royal Albatrosses nest on Campbell Island in the sub-Antarctic with smaller colonies on Adams Island and Auckland Island. They range along the southern oceans mainly on the west and east coast of southern South America. They are also found in the waters surrounding New Zealand, and are sometimes seen off New South Wales in eastern Australia.

distribution map showing range of Diomedea epomophora in Australia

Map is from Atlas of Living Australia website at http://biocache.ala.org.au licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License


Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "vulnerable".

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Procellariiformes
Family:Diomedeidae
Genus:Diomedea
Species:epomophora
Common Name:Royal Albatross

Relatives in same Genus
  Wandering Albatross (D. exulans)