Ardenna grisea 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Procellariiformes Procellariidae

Scientific Name: Ardenna grisea
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Sooty Shearwater
French Puffin fuligineux
Ardenna grisea grisea Christidis and Boles (2008)
Puffinus griseus (Gmelin, 1789)
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: Ardenna grisea (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Puffinus as P. griseus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., McClellan, R. & Symes, A.
This species is classified as Near Threatened because although it has a very large global population it is thought to have undergone a moderately rapid decline owing to the impact of fisheries, the harvesting of its young and possibly climate change.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ardenna grisea is an abundant shearwater, breeding on islands off New Zealand, Australia and Chile, and the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). In Australia there are colonies on 17 islands (all of less than 1,000 pairs), southern Chile (many colonies, some up to 200,000 pairs and up to 4 million birds on Isla Guafo; Reyes-Arriagada et al. 2007) and the Falklands (10,000-20,000 pairs) and more than 80 colonies in New Zealand (totalling c.5 million pairs) (Marchant and Higgins 1990). In 1970-71, the Snares Islands colonies were estimated to support 2,750,000 breeding pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1992; Heather and Robertson 1997). The total world population is thought to be over 20 million birds (Heather and Robertson 1997). Although this is an extremely numerous species, there are persistent signs of a current decline (Brooke 2004). In New Zealand, the number of burrows in the largest colony (on the Snares islands) declined by 37% between 1969-1971 and 1996-2000, and burrow occupancy may also have declined, indicating that an overall population decline may have occurred (Warham and Wilson 1982; Scofield 2002). Elsewhere the mainland New Zealand, colonies are in decline and certain offshore colonies have not responded to predator control (Gaze 2000; Jones 2000). In the California Current, Sooty Shearwater numbers have fallen by 90% in the last 20 years (Veit et al. 1996). It remains uncertain whether this has resulted from population declines or distributional shifts (Spear and Ainley 1999).

Countries occurrence:
Antarctica; Argentina; Australia; Bermuda; Brazil; Chile; Costa Rica; Denmark; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Fiji; France; Greenland; Guadeloupe; Ireland; Israel; Jordan; Marshall Islands; Mexico; New Zealand; Panama; Portugal; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Spain (Canary Is. - Vagrant); United Kingdom; United States
Algeria; American Samoa (American Samoa); Barbados; Belgium; Cape Verde; China; Cuba; Egypt; Finland; French Polynesia; Gibraltar; Guatemala; Italy; Jamaica; Latvia; Lebanon; Liberia; Malta; Martinique; Mauritania; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Poland; Puerto Rico; Russian Federation; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Saint Lucia; Sao Tomé and Principe; Sri Lanka; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Taiwan, Province of China; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Present - origin uncertain:
Angola (Angola); Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Benin; Bouvet Island; Cameroon; Canada; Colombia; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Dominica; Ecuador (Galápagos); El Salvador; Equatorial Guinea; Faroe Islands; French Guiana; French Southern Territories; Gabon; Gambia; Germany; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Heard Island and McDonald Islands; Iceland; Japan; Kiribati; Madagascar; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Nauru; Netherlands; New Caledonia; Norfolk Island; Peru; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Solomon Islands; South Africa; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Suriname; Togo; Tonga; Turks and Caicos Islands; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Uruguay; Vanuatu; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Wallis and Futuna; Western Sahara
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:204000000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is roughly estimated to number > c.20,000,000 individuals (Brooke, 2004), while national population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; >c.1,000 individuals on migration in Japan and >c.1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  There are persistent signs of current decline in the global population (Brooke 2004), and the population trend is decreasing in North America (based on Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count data: Butcher and Niven 2007) and in New Zealand (Clucas et al. 2008). Though the rate of decline of the whole population has not been quantified, moderately rapid population declines are suspected.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It nests on islands and headlands in large colonies. Burrows are dug for breeding under tussock grass, low scrub and on the Snares Islands under Olearia forest. Birds typically do not return to their natal colonies until age four. It feeds on fish, crustacea and cephalopods, caught while diving. Short (1-3 days) and long (5-15 days) provisioning trips are made by parents; longer trips allow foraging along the Antarctic Polar Front, reducing competition close to breeding grounds and allowing vast colonies to persist.

Systems:Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):21.2
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Harvesting young birds or 'muttonbirding' currently accounts for the take of around a quarter of a million birds annually (del Hoyo et al. 1992; Heather and Robertson 1997), but is unlikely to account for the scale of the decline. Populations are no longer ravaged by pelagic drift-nets which formerly drowned up to 350,000 birds annually (Ogi et al. 1993). Longline fisheries are responsible for large numbers of deaths of this and many other seabird species. Some authorities postulate that the decline may be associated with climate change, as investigation into the biological impact of recent climatic trends suggests either large-scale shifts in the foraging distribution of the species during the Boreal summer, or dramatic reductions in abundance and survival rate (Ainley et al 1995; Veit et al. 1996, 1997; Spear and Ainley 1999; Wahl and Tweit 2000; Oedekoven et al. 2001; Hyrenbach and Veit 2003; Veit et al. 1996). Rats (Rattus rattus and R. norvegicus) have been shown to predate on eggs and chicks, although the extent of the impact is unknown (Jones et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species is monitored at some sites and has been extensively studied in parts of its range. Some breeding grounds are protected and have benefited from eradications of introduced predators.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue monitoring key colonies and migration bottlenecks. Research the key threats driving declines and assess appropriate responses. Buffer important colonies against invasive species invasions.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Ardenna grisea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22698209A84999904. . Downloaded on 21 October 2016.
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