Pterodroma caribbaea 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Procellariiformes Procellariidae

Scientific Name: Pterodroma caribbaea Carte, 1866
Common Name(s):
English Jamaican Petrel
Taxonomic Source(s): Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Identification information: 40 cm. Medium-sized, dark brown petrel. Structurally very similar to Black-capped Petrel P. hasitata. More or less uniform sooty brown apart from a cream-coloured uppertail. Black bill and feet.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Shirihai, H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Isherwood, I., Lascelles, B., Symes, A., Wege, D. & Ashpole, J
This species was last collected in 1879, after a drastic decline in numbers through the 19th century, presumed to have resulted from the effects of introduced rats and mongooses. It was searched for without success during 1996-2000, but it cannot yet be presumed to be Extinct because nocturnal petrels are notoriously difficult to record, and it may conceivably occur on Dominica and Guadeloupe. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).

Date last seen: 1879
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Pterodroma caribbaea was a plentiful seabird up to the middle of the 19th century, but has suffered a drastic decline in numbers. The last confirmed record is of 22 birds collected in 1879. The only proven nesting was in the Blue and John Crow Mountains of eastern Jamaica, where it may conceivably survive. It may also have nested on Dominica and Guadeloupe (Douglas 2000). Several searches since the mid 1990s have so far failed to locate any birds.

Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Bahamas; Dominica; Guadeloupe; Jamaica
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:1Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Any remaining population is assumed to be tiny (numbering fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals), with the last confirmed records dating from 1879.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1-49Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:1Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It nests in cliff burrows and holes under trees, above 1,000 m (BirdLife Jamaica in litt. 1998, 2000). The courtship, mating and pre-laying period is October-December (when birds are most vocal), and young fledge by May (Douglas 2000). It visits nesting burrows nocturnally (Douglas 2000). Feeding is expected to be crepuscular and nocturnal in oceanic waters, matching the habits of the closely related Black-capped Petrel P. hasitata (Douglas 2000).

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The presumed cause of this species's demise was predation by introduced rats (which took eggs) and mongooses (capable of taking incubating adults). Introduced pigs may also have been an important factor (BirdLife Jamaica in litt. 1998, 2000). It was hunted for food until the middle of the 19th century (Douglas 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The Jamaica Petrel Research Group initiated searches for the species in 1996, and this effort continued until at least 2000 (BirdLife Jamaica in litt. 1998, 2000), but these failed to find any birds (Tobias et al. 2006), while an at-sea search in November-December 2009 failed to locate the species (H. Shirihai in litt. 2009). A further search including at-sea chumming and an expedition into the Blue Mountains of Jamaica is planned (H. Shirihai in litt. 2009), but dependent on the necessary funding.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Search systematically above 1,000 m in the John Crow Mountains on Jamaica, coordinating searches at the beginning of the breeding season when the birds are most vocal (BirdLife Jamaica in litt. 1998, 2000, Douglas 2000). Search on Dominica and Guadeloupe (Douglas 2000). Continue searches at sea. Photograph any dark Pterodroma petrels encountered in the Caribbean (Tobias et al. 2006). If searches discover the species, actions should be taken to ensure its survival including: predator eradication, habitat protection, environmental education and the cessation of hunting (del Hoyo et al. 2015).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Pterodroma caribbaea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22698097A93661165. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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