Heads up: Some or all of the identifications affected by this split may have been replaced with identifications of Diomedea exulans. This happens when we can't automatically assign an identification to one of the output taxa. Review identifications of Diomedea exulans 508990

Taxonomic Split 137857 (Committed on 01-29-2024)

Antipodean Albatross Diomedea antipodensis, Amsterdam Albatross D. amsterdamensis, and Tristan Albatross D. dabbenena are split from Wandering (now Snowy) Albatross D. exulans (Clements 2007:9)

Summary: The four-way split of the Wandering Albatross complex means all great albatross sightings should be thoroughly photo-documented whenever possible. Much remains to be learned of their at-sea distributions, and Snowy can occur in any southern waters, but in the south Atlantic, Tristan is the other most likely species; in the south Pacific, Antipodean; and Amsterdam is rare in the south-central Indian Ocean.

Details: Species limits of the Wandering Albatross complex have long been contentious, and until recently two species were generally recognized, the widespread Wandering Albatross D. exulans and the Amsterdam Albatross D. amsterdamensis, only described in 1983, and then lumped into D. exulans in Clements (2005). Several authorities, however, including Gill and Donsker (2009, IOC v.2.1) have long recognized four species in the complex.

The lower-latitude breeding populations of Wandering-complex albatrosses from the Tristan group (mainly Gough Island) and Antipodes region have each been shown to be genetically distinct (e.g., Alderman et al. 2005), and the Amsterdam Island population is now known to have unique haplotypes and extremely low genetic diversity likely related to the bottleneck effect (Rains et al. 2011). In contrast, there is extremely low population structuring across the wide subantarctic breeding range of D. exulans sensu stricto (Burg and Croxall 2004, Rheindt and Austin 2005, Milot et al. 2007, 2008), showing panmixia despite the great distances between many breeding islands. Clearly, despite its extreme vagility, exulans rarely if ever interbreeds with any of the more northerly breeding taxa, which are not each other’s closest relatives, and hence a four-species approach in the Wandering Albatross complex is adopted by WGAC and the Clements Checklist.

eBird/Clements Checklist v2023 (Citation)
Added by donalddavesne on January 15, 2024 01:59 PM | Committed by donalddavesne on January 29, 2024
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