Hydrobates pelagicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Procellariiformes Hydrobatidae

Scientific Name: Hydrobates pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English European Storm-petrel, British Storm Petrel, European Storm Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Storm Petrel
French Pétrel tempête
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dowsett, R.J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Fisher, S., Harding, M.
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to 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 is unknown but is not thought to approach the threshold 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:About 90% of the known breeding population is concentrated in the Faroe Islands (Denmark; 250,000 pairs), United Kingdom (21,000-34,000 pairs), Ireland (99,056 pairs) and Iceland (50,000-100,000 pairs), with smaller colonies in France (40-50 pairs), Greece (90 pairs), Italy (3,700-4,500 pairs), Malta (5,025-8,035 pairs), Norway (1,000-10,000 pairs), Spain (4,699 pairs) and a further 1,000 pairs on the Canary Islands, Spain (BirdLife International 2015). The species winters off western and southern Africa.

Countries occurrence:
Denmark; Faroe Islands; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mauritania; Morocco; Norway; Portugal; Spain (Canary Is.); United Kingdom
Algeria; Austria; Belgium; Côte d'Ivoire; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Ghana; Guinea; Israel; Lebanon; Libya; Poland; Russian Federation (European Russia); Sierra Leone; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine
Present - origin uncertain:
Sao Tomé and Principe
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:84900000
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
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe (which covers >95% of the breeding range), the breeding population is estimated to be 438,000-514,000 breeding pairs, equating to 876,000-1,030,000 mature individuals or 1,314,000-1,545,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2015); Brooke (2004) also estimated the total population to number around 1,500,000. The population is therefore placed in the band 430,000-519,999 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  The population trend is unknown in Europe (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:430000-519999Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
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:This is a marine species feeding mainly on small fish, squid and crustaceans, but it will also feed on medusae and offal. It feeds mainly on the wing by pattering and fishing, and will occaisionally follow ships and attend trawlers. Breeding starts in May and June, resulting in the formation of colonies on rocky ground on offshore islands and stacks that are largely free of mammalian predators (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Systems:Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):15.7
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The accidental introduction of predators is the main threat to this species, particularly in southern Europe and the Mediterranean (Cadiou et al. 2012, Carboneras et al. 2014). In some areas, increases in numbers of skuas and large gulls appear to have increased the rate of predation. Reduction of prey, caused by unsustainable fisheries may also impact this species (Madroño et al. 2005). There may be some risk from eating contaminated food items or taking indisgestible matter but, by feeding in flight, the species is less vulnerable to oil spills than some other seabirds (Tucker and Heath 1994, Newbury et al. 1998). Coastal development, particularly in the Mediterranean region has caused habitat destruction and disturbance (Carboneras et al. 2014). The species is also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including shifts in prey availability, and storms and extreme weather events. Light pollution from ships and coastal developments may also create a problem at night for this species (Jiménez et al. 2009, Sultana et al. 2011). In the Molène archipelago, France, the population has declined over the last two decades due to continuous nest-site destruction (Carboneras et al. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs within 88 existing marine Important Bird Areas (IBAs) across Europe. Within the EU it is listed in 130 Special Protection Areas, in the Natura 2000 network. Conservation prospects for the Mediterranean population recently improved through provision of nestboxes, which has led to an increase in breeding numbers due to increased nesting success, while selective culling of gulls on same Spanish islands led to a marked reduction (c. 65%) in the number of petrels predated, and to a relative increase in their survival and breeding success probabilities of 16% and 23%, respectively (Carboneras et al. 2014). There is an active rat eradication and management programme in Britain designed to improve the conservation status of this species, Leach's Storm-petrel (H. leucorhous) and Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Rats, cats and other invasive mammals should be kept off breeding islands and these species should be removed from islands on which they are present (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Added countries of occurrence.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Hydrobates pelagicus (amended version of 2017 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22698477A119407239. . Downloaded on 21 April 2018.
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