As large, long-lived seabirds with delayed and slow reproduction, albatrosses have low intrinsic mortality rates and are especially vulnerable to extinction from extrinsic sources of mortality such as fishery bycatch. Leg-band recovery information for waved albatrosses revealed mortality from both incidental catch and intentional catch for human consumption. Annual adult survival in 1999-2005, estimated from capture-mark-recapture data, was lower than historical estimates. This recent increase in adult mortality probably contributed to recent and dramatic shrinkage of the breeding population; periodic matrix models confirm that population growth rate is most sensitive to changes in adult survival. Banding data and recovery information also suggest that capture by fisheries is male-biased, which should reduce fecundity in this species with obligate bi-parental care. This new documentation of bycatch, harvesting, and associated demographic consequences provides reason for serious concern about the persistence of the single breeding population of the waved albatross.
- Periodic matrix model