All scientific data collected by the Australian Antarctic program (AAp) are eventually described in the Catalogue of Australian Antarctic and Subantarctic Metadata (CAASM). CAASM can be used to search through AAp data descriptions, and it also provides links to access publicly available datasets, which can either be immediately downloaded or obtained from the Australian Antarctic Data Centre (AADC).

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Lawton, K., Robertson, G., Constable, A., Kirkwood, R. and Raymond, B. (2007) Preferred foraging areas of Heard Island albatrosses during chick raising and implications for the management of incidental mortality in fisheries, Ver. 1, Australian Antarctic Data Centre -, Accessed: 2022-07-04
Preferred foraging areas of Heard Island albatrosses during chick raising and implications for the management of incidental mortality in fisheries
Data Centre
Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Australia
Created Date
Revision Date
Parent record


From the abstract of the referenced paper:

1. Incidental mortality in fisheries is causing declines in many albatross populations around the world. To assess potential interactions with regional fisheries satellite tags were used to track black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys) and light-mantled sooty albatrosses (Phoebetria palpebrata) breeding on Heard Island during the chick-rearing periods of 2003/2004. This was the first time individuals from either population had been tracked.
2. Black-browed albatrosses foraged largely within the Heard and McDonald Islands Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) north-east of the island, although 20% of foraging trips were to areas north of the EEZ into Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) areas 58.5.1 and 58.5.2 and into the Iles Kerguelen EEZ.
3. In contrast, the light-mantled sooty albatrosses foraged well south of Heard Island along the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Both species appear to face minimal risk of incidental mortality during the chick-rearing period in the regulated, legal fisheries, but are threatened by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels operating in the southern Indian Ocean.

The data have been loaded into the ARGOS database held by the Australian Antarctic Data Centre. An excel spreadsheet detailing PTT number (position tracking terminal), date of attachment, date of retrieval and species is also provided as an aide to searching the ARGOS database. Two articles are also associated with this record, a refereed journal article, plus an article in the Australian Antarctic Division's Antarctic Magazine.

The fields in this dataset are:

PTT number
Date of attachment
Date of retrieval

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The figures provided in spatial coverage are approximate only.

The field program for attaching and retrieving the trackers went very smoothly.

For more information, see the referenced papers.

From the methods section of the referenced journal article:

The movements of 10 black-browed and 5 light-mantled sooty albatrosses were tracked from the vicinity of Jacka Valley, Heard Island, during the brood and chick-rearing periods of the summer of 2003/2004. Miniature satellite tags ('cricket' tags, Sirtrack Ltd, New Zealand, mass 32g, dimensions 50x50x30 mm) were deployed between 21 and 22 December 2003. The tags were attached to 6-8 mantle feathers on the dorsal surface between the wings with Tesa tape and Loctite glue. The tags were programmed to transmit every 90 seconds, and were duty cycled to 2 hours on, 3 hours off. Transmissions were detected by orbiting satellites of the ARGOS system (CLS Argos, France). Tags were left on the same individuals for the duration of the tracking period and were removed between 1 and 6 February 2004.


A list of trackers is available for download from the provided URL. To access the tracking data, see the link to the ARGOS database at the provided URL.

The pdf copy of the Antarctic Magazine article is available for download from the provided URL.

Temporal Coverages

Spatial Coverages

Science Keywords

Additional Keywords

  • albatross
  • Heard Island
  • tracking






  • Global Positioning System
  • ARGOS Data Collection and Position Location System


  • robertson, graham (INVESTIGATOR)
  • constable, andrew (INVESTIGATOR)
  • kirkwood, roger (TECHNICAL CONTACT)
  • raymond, ben (TECHNICAL CONTACT)
  • connell, dave (DIF AUTHOR)

Use Constraints

This data set conforms to the CCBY Attribution License

Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at when using these data.

Creative Commons License