Hydrobates pelagicus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Hydrobates pelagicus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English European Storm-petrel, European Storm-Petrel, European Storm Petrel, British Storm Petrel, Storm Petrel
French Pétrel tempête

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): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M., Fisher, S., Calvert, R.
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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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: About 90% of the known breeding population is concentrated in the Faroe Islands (Denmark; 150,000-400,000 pairs), United Kingdom (20,000-150,000 pairs), Ireland (50,000-100,000 pairs) and Iceland (50,000-100,000 pairs), with smaller colonies in France (400-600 pairs), Greece (10-30 pairs), Italy (1,500-2,000 pairs), Malta (5,000 pairs), Norway (1,000-10,000 pairs), Spain (1,700-2,000 pairs) and a further 1,000 pairs on the Canary Islands, Spain. The species winters off western and southern Africa.
Denmark; Faroe Islands; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Norway; Portugal; Spain (Canary Is.); United Kingdom
Algeria; Austria; Belgium; Côte d'Ivoire; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Ghana; Guinea; Israel; Lebanon; Libya; Poland; Russian Federation; Sierra Leone; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine
Present - origin uncertain:
Sao Tomé and Principe
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 430,000-510,000 breeding pairs, equating to 1,290,000-1,530,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004); Brooke (2004) also estimated the total population to number around 1,500,000.
For further information about this species, see 22698477_hydrobates_pelagicus.pdf.
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Population Trend: Decreasing

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The accidental introduction of predators is the main threat to this species, particularly in southern Europe and the Mediterranean. In some areas, increases in numbers of skuas and large gulls appear to have increased the rate of predation. 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 (Newbury et al. 1998, Tucker and Heath 1994).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Hydrobates pelagicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
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