Save The Antipodean Albatross | WWF New Zealand



One of Aotearoa’s largest seabirds, the Antipodean albatross (Toroa), is in trouble.

These majestic birds only breed on New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic Antipodean Islands and they travel vast oceans to forage and feed. These waters, over which they fly, are no longer safe for them.

In a little more than a decade, we have lost two-thirds of the Antipodean albatross population.


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The story of Antipodean albatross is really a love story.

After an elaborate courtship, involving singing and dancing, these birds pair for life.

Antipodean albatross travel the vast seas before returning to shore to be reunited with their mate and lay a single egg. Together, they work in shifts to care for their chick. It takes hard work, dedication and an entire year to fledge their chick. These doting parents must travel days, sometimes weeks, to find food for their young.

© Kath Walker/DOC
© Kath Walker/DOC

However, they can run into trouble when their search for food brings them into contact with fishing vessels - drowning on long lines set to catch Tuna and Swordfish. Their chick may die, as it takes two dedicated parents to feed it, and the mate remains waiting for their return.

Year after year, the remaining mate returns to the Antipodean Islands hoping to see the return of their long-lost love. It’s a long, lonely wait.



Some 800 breeding birds die each year. While there may be multiple reasons behind this severe decline, like climate change affecting their prey and foraging success, unsafe fishing methods- such as long lines- are having the greatest negative impact on the Antipodean albatross.

If nothing changes, these magnificent seabirds will become extinct.

We can only help Antipodean albatross with your help. Your support will help WWF to stop unsafe fishing practices, work collaboratively with global governments, and employ the latest technology and innovations to prevent their demise.

We cannot do this alone. We need your help.

Together, it’s possible to save the Antipodean albatross.


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Guardians of the Sea


These incredible birds travel astonishing distances. Through GPS technology we know the Antipodean albatross can travel 170,000 kilometers on a single trip.

Seafarers, including Māori, have long used these birds as guides at sea to find home. They are the great navigators who seem to easily harness the harshest of winds, and brave the fiercest seas, to glide their way home.

© Kath Walker/DOC
© Finlay Cox/DOC

Now, it’s time to be their guardians.


For thousands of years, these mighty seabirds have called Aotearoa home. If we fail to act now, they may be extinct in 20 years. Gone forever in one generation.

We are responsible for their decline, so we must be responsible for their salvation.

Now is the time to become kaitiaki of these guardians of the sea.


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The extraordinary Antipodean albatross is in free fall to extinction – unless we act now.

This precious native species has declined by 2/3rds in a little over a decade.

An estimated 800 adult albatross die globally every year because of human threats including accidentally being hooked or killed in commercial fishing gear.

We can save these birds by making sure fishing boats abide by laws that require seabird-safe fishing gear and methods – like setting fishing lines at night, and weighting fishing hooks so they sink below the surface quickly and away from hungry birds.

The Government has just announced they will be rolling out cameras on all longline boats, which pose the highest risk to the critically threatened Antipodean albatross.

Now, we need to make sure they receive widespread support to get the programme over the finish line.

Send a “thank you” message to Minister Nash and help share the message far and wide.



© Kath Walker/DOC

To: Minister Nash


We call on you to put observers or cameras on all Tuna longline vessels in New Zealand - the most dangerous fishery for Antipodean albatross in our waters. This will:

  • Build science about how many birds are dying and how to save them
  • Enable enforcement of laws about fishing in seabird-safe ways
  • Increase public confidence and support for those fishers that are doing the right thing

Australia has had cameras on their entire longline fleet, of a similar size as New Zealand’s (around 30 vessels), since 2015. Cameras have encouraged Australian fishers to meet the laws and improved management of fisheries threats to protected species.

It’s time we lift our game in our own big blue backyard, and help save our Antipodean albatross.

Minister Nash – Please put observers or cameras on New Zealand’s Tuna longline boats to help save the Antipodean albatross Now!

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