Recoveries of wandering albatrosses diomedea exulans ringed at South Georgia 1958–1986
Ringing of 20,000 Wandering Albatrosses over 30 years at Bird Island, South Georgia has produced only 81 recoveries (i.e. excluding controls), fairly evenly distributed between birds ringed as adults and as nestlings and between birds recovered 1–3 years after ringing (70% ex‐nestlings) and subsequently. Recoveries (away from the vicinity of South Georgia) from 1960–1974 were mainly in Australasia (41%), followed by South America (34%); 17% of birds were found ashore, of the rest 38% were caught during fishing. From 1975–1988, recoveries were mainly in South America (65%), then Australasia (25%); 28% of birds were found ashore, of the rest 63% (almost equally adults and juveniles) were caught during fishing and three‐quarters (64% adults) of these on long‐lines set for tuna. The increase in recoveries associated with fishing (and with long‐lines in particular) and the decline of the Bird Island (and several other) breeding population is probably more than coincidence.