The population and conservation status of the world's albatrosses are reviewed within the framework of recent taxonomic changes. The latest estimates of size of breeding populations (pairs) at all known localities of each of the 24 proposed species are presented; population trends are assessed where sufficient data are available. Despite increased efforts in population monitoring, the status (i.e.. population trends) of two-thirds of the world's ca. 150 albatross populations remain unknown. For those that are known, almost half are decreasing. The threats currently facing each species are briefly reviewed. The best available evidence indicates that longline fishing is the most serious threat facing albatrosses today. Twenty-one of the 24 species are known to be killed on longline hooks, including rare and endangered species. Widespread implementation of appropriate mitigation measures is urgently required.
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