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    Southern royal albatross Diomedea epomophora census on Campbell Island, 4 January–6 February 1996, and a review of population figures

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    Delegation of New Zealand

    A census of breeding Southern Royal Albatross was undertaken at Campbell Island during the period 4 January to 6 February 1996 of the 1995-96 breeding season. A total of 7787 occupied nests was counted. Comparisons of different field census techniques and a measure of the rate of egg loss suggest that 8200-8600 pairs were nesting in the 1995-96 breeding season. The count WDS 23% higher than in January-February 1995, much of which could be explained by some larger survey blocks being counted more thoroughly. Interpretation of population trend data from previous censuses Is difficult because of the likely variability in counting effort between years. Nevertheless, numbers of nests have increased since the first census in January-February 1958, and increased or fluctuated since the 1970s. Accurate counts at study areas (1988-1996) show that numbers are currently increasing.