Distribution and abundance of the Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides

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Polar Biology




We reviewed published and unpublished literature to establish the status of the breeding distribution and abundance of Southern Fulmars Fulmarus glacialoides. The species breeds widely throughout the Antarctic and on peri-Antarctic islands. From breeding population data collated from 73 of these localities, we estimated the minimum global population to be about 400,000 breeding pairs. After adjusting for seasonal variation in numbers of breeding pairs based on studies at Ardery Island, East Antarctica, the total global population is estimated to be at least one million breeding pairs. Of this, 72% nest on islands of the Scotia Sea arc and the South Atlantic Ocean. The precision of the estimate on the total number of breeding pairs is low, as several colony estimates were only available as orders of magnitude. Furthermore, different timing of the surveys and the difficulties of censusing colonial cliff-nesting birds reduced the count accuracy. Currently, there are no known threats to the global population, although the effects of fishery activities are not fully known.