Pterodroma hasitata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Procellariiformes Procellariidae

Scientific Name: Pterodroma hasitata
Species Authority: (Kuhl, 1820)
Common Name(s):
English Black-capped Petrel
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Taxonomic Notes: Pterodroma hasitata (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into P. hasitata and P. caribbaea following Brooke (2004).

Identification information: 40 cm. Medium-sized, long-winged gadfly petrel. Brownish-black cap extending to eye, nape and towards upper breast where forms partial collar. White hindneck. Brownish-grey mantle and upperwing. White rump and uppertail-coverts. Dark brown tail. Entirely white underparts. White underwing with narrow black trailing edge, black tip, broad black edge between primaries and carpal joint. Band extends weakly towards centre of wing from joint. Black bill. Pink legs, and feet pink proximally, black distally. Similar spp. Bermuda Petrel P. cahow is smaller and usually lacks white hindneck and rump, but separation may sometimes be impossible. Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis is larger, darker and less contrasting above, lacks black edge to underwing and has slower wingbeats and less erratic flight.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Demarest, D., Feldmann, P., Fernandez, E., Gerwin, J., Lee, D., Levesque, A. & Villard, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Anderson, O., Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Clay, R., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Sullivan, B., Wege, D.
This species is classified as Endangered because it has a very small, fragmented and declining breeding range and population. It has already been extirpated from some sites, and declines are likely to continue as a result of habitat loss and degradation, hunting and invasive predators.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2010 Endangered (EN)
2008 Endangered (EN)
2007 Endangered (EN)
2004 Endangered (EN)
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (EN)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Pterodroma hasitata now breeds in Haiti and the Sierra de Baoruco region of the Dominican Republic. There are an estimated 1,000 breeding pairs (D. S. Lee in litt. 1998, Lee 2000), mostly in the Massifs de la Selle and de la Hotte, southern Haiti (Raffaele et al. 1998), but records at-sea suggest that the population is over 5,000 individuals (Brooke 2004). The area of suitable habitat in the Pic Macaya region of Massif de la Hotte is estimated to be 5 km2, with a similar area in La Visite, Massif de la Selle (the majority of colonies are found within a 10 km stretch spanning a 500 m elevational range on the north side of the ridge; two more colonies are located further to the east, span 5 km, again within a 500 m elevation range) (J. Gerwin in litt. 2006). Small numbers have been recently recorded on Dominica and in adjacent offshore waters, suggesting that it may still nest (Raffaele et al. 1998). In May 2007, a breeding female was found in the village of Trafalgar in the Padu region of Dominica (A. James in litt., 2010). It now seems likely that small numbers breed in Cuba based on observation in the Sierra Maestra region (a congregation of 40+ individuals in the vicinity of shoreline, vocalisations heard overhead by landbased observers, and evidence of birds moving inland) (D. Demarest in litt. 2006). It is believed extinct on Guadeloupe (to France) (where common in the 19th century) (Raffaele et al. 1998). Black-capped petrel may have bred on Martinique (to France) (Raffaele et al. 1998). Even during the breeding season it is highly pelagic, with breeding condition birds recorded off the North Carolina coast, USA (D. S. Lee in litt. 1998, Lee 2000). Birds disperse over the Caribbean and Atlantic from the north-east USA to north-east Brazil, with four records in European waters (Howell 2002), but the at-sea range has contracted in the north and west.

Countries occurrence:
Bahamas; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Haiti; United States
Aruba; Barbados; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Curaçao; Jamaica; Nicaragua; Puerto Rico; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); United Kingdom; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Present - origin uncertain:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica; French Guiana; Grenada; Guyana; Honduras; Montserrat; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 20
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 7420000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 2-5
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Brooke (2004)

Trend Justification:  The population undoubtedly declined through the 19th and 20th centuries during which time breeding populations on Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique may have been entirely extirpated. This decline is thought to have continued during recent years but requires confirmation.

Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 5000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It nests (starting in December) colonially in cliff burrows, often within montane forest at 1,500-2,000 m, but up to 2,300 m in the Dominican Republic (Williams et al. 1996). Nesting birds commute large distances from breeding to foraging sites (Lee 2000). It is primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, feeding on fish, invertebrate swarms, fauna associated with Sargassum seaweed reefs (Lee 2000), and squid (Ottenwalder 1992a). It is attracted to localised upwellings, where the mixing of surface and deep oceanic waters produces nutrient-rich areas (Lee 2000).

Systems: Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 15.6
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat destruction and hunting for food have caused this species's decline, and remain key threats in Haiti. Birds are also predated by introduced mammals. Urbanisation and concomitant increases in artificial lights may dazzle or disorientate birds into colliding with trees, wires and buildings (Ottenwalder 1992a). A telecommunications mast with stay wires erected in 1995 on Loma de Toro in Sierra de Bahoruco (the only known nesting locality in the Dominican Republic) poses a collision hazard (Keith et al. 2003). The proposed development of gas/oil fields off the coast of South Carolina, USA, could devastate this important feeding area (Lee 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It breeds within national parks in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On Guadeloupe, five surveys for the species have been conducted since the late 1980s (P. Feldmann and P. Villard in litt 1998). Efforts have been made to define the at-sea distribution off the USA (Lee 2000).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to accurately determine the status and distribution of the species and its habitat (Ottenwalder 1992a, Lee 2000). Halt human exploitation. Develop measures to remove introduced predators. Effectively protect the species and its nesting grounds. List the species in the USA under the Federal Endangered Species Act (Lee 2000).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Pterodroma hasitata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22698092A38940168. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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