Aethia psittacula


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Aethia psittacula
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1769)
Common Name(s):
English Parakeet Auklet
Cyclorrhynchus psittacula psittacula Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994)
Cyclorrhynchus psittacula psittacula Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Parakeet Auklet is found in the North Pacific Ocean, from Hokkaido, Japan and far off the coast of California (USA) in the south, up to and including the southern part of the Chukchi Sea. It breeds on islands throughout this area, as well as on the coast of Alaska (USA) and the eastern coast of Siberia, Russia1.
Canada; Japan; Russian Federation; United States
Present - origin uncertain:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number > c.1,200,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996), while the population in Russia has been estimated at c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs (Brazil 2009).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This marine species occurs offshore and along rocky sea coasts. Its diet is comprised mainly of planktonic crustaceans, specifically euphausiids and amphipods early and calanoid copepods during chick-rearing, and it is supplemented with varying amounts of other invertebrates and small fish. Food is usually obtained at considerable distance from colonies. Spring arrival and the start of laying is variable depending on latitude, starting earliest in the south of its range and latest in the extreme north. It is monogamous with high site fidelity and presumably high mate fidelity between years. Colonies are loose and range from small to large, breeding on offshore islands using dark crevices and cavities in steep sea cliffs, rocky talus slopes and beach boulder fields as nesting sites (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Aethia psittacula. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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