Ardenna gravis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ardenna gravis
Species Authority: (O'Reilly, 1818)
Common Name(s):
English Great Shearwater, Greater Shearwater
French Puffin majeur
Ardenna gravis gravis Christidis and Boles (2008)
Puffinus gravis (O'Reilly, 1818)
Taxonomic Notes: Ardenna gravis (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Puffinus.

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): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Newton, P.
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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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: This species breeds at three main sites: Nightingale and Inaccessible islands in the Tristan da Cunha group, and Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha (to UK) (Snow and Perrins 1998, Carboneras 1992d). Birds also breed in small numbers in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), where the only confirmed site is Kidney Island (no more than 15 pairs recorded in 1987 (Woods 1988)), though there is a slight possibilty of breeding near Wineglass Hill, East Falkland, where one has been caught (Woods and Woods 1997).
Bermuda; Brazil; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); France; Greenland; Guyana; Ireland; Martinique; Mexico; Portugal; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Spain (Canary Is.); United Kingdom; United States
Algeria; Angola (Angola); Australia; Barbados; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Cayman Islands; Curaçao; Denmark; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Gabon; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Guadeloupe; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Liberia; Morocco; Netherlands; Saint Lucia; Sao Tomé and Principe; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Suriname; Sweden; Trinidad and Tobago; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Present - origin uncertain:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Bahamas; Canada; Cape Verde; Côte d'Ivoire; Faroe Islands; French Guiana; Gambia; Grenada; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Iceland; Mauritania; Namibia; Norway; Puerto Rico; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Turks and Caicos Islands; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Western Sahara
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Brooke (2004) estimated the global population to number at least 15,000,000 individuals. A minimum of 5,000,000 pairs are thought to breed at Tristan da Cunha, and 600,000 to 3,000,000 pairs at Gough (Carboneras 1992d).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Adults begin a transequatorial migration in April, moving north-west to South America, up to Canada, past Greenland and onto the north-east Atlantic before returning south in November to the breeding islands (Carboneras 1992d, Harrison 1983). The species breeds on sloping ground, mainly in areas of tussock grass or Phylica woodland. It feeds mostly on fish, squid and fish offal (attending trawlers, sometimes in large numbers), and also on some crustaceans (Carboneras 1992d).
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Several thousand adults and c.50,000 chicks are harvested every year from Nightingale Island by Tristan Islanders, which could lead to the collapse of the population without research into sustainable harvesting levels (Carboneras 1992d). Although there is no real evidence of threats to the tiny confirmed Falkland breeding population, predation by feral cats at Wineglass Hill would be a threat to any breeding there (R. Woods in litt. 1999).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Ardenna gravis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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