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    Albatross populations: status and threats

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    The status of the worlds albatrosses are reviewed within the framework of the taxonomic changes proposed by Nunn et al. (1996) and Robertson and Nunn (this volume). 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 worlds ca. 150 albatross populations remain unknown. For those that are known, almost half are declining. 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 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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