Pterodroma feae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Procellariiformes Procellariidae

Scientific Name: Pterodroma feae (Salvadori, 1899)
Common Name(s):
English Cape Verde Petrel
Spanish Petrel gon-gon
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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Taxonomic Notes:

Pterodroma feae and P. deserta (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as P. feae following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).


Identification information: 35 cm. Medium-sized grey and white gadfly petrel. Grey upperparts with dark cap and dark "M" across wings. White underparts with indistinct pale grey half collar across upper breast. Predominantly dark grey-brown underwing. Similar spp. Zino's Petrel P. madeira is virtually identical but has a narrower, shorter bill and shorter wings. P. desertas appears identical but there are subtle vocal differences. Voice. On breeding grounds a range of wailing, cackling, ululating and hiccuping calls. Silent at sea.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Bourne, W., Gangloff, B., Geraldes, P., González-Solís, J., Menezes, D., Militão, T., Oliveira, P., Ramirez, I. & Sultana, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Anderson, O., Capper, D., Derhé, M., Martin, R, Moreno, R., O'Brien, A., Peet, N., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This newly split species is listed as Near Threatened because it breeds on only four islands, where it faces a number of threats, although there is presently no evidence of an overall decline. Nevertheless, its restricted breeding range leaves it moderately susceptible to stochastic events and human impacts.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Pterodroma feae breeds on four islands of Cape Verde: Fogo (50 pairs estimated; T. Militão et al. 2016; Militão et al. submitted), Santo Antão (minimum 200 pairs; Ratcliffe et al. 2000), São Nicolau (c.30 pairs; Ratcliffe et al. 2000) and Santiago (50 pairs estimated, J. González-Solís in litt.). An estimated 500-1,000 pairs breed in Cape Verde (Hazevoet 1995; Ratcliffe et al. 2000), although the population is likely to exceed this estimate (Ratcliffe et al. 2000). Birds remained around the breeding area during their non-breeding season (Ramos et al. 2016).
Countries occurrence:
Cape Verde; Senegal; Western Sahara
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:2600Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:19200000
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:NoLower elevation limit (metres):800
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:An estimated 500-1,000 pairs breed on the Cape Verde Islands (Hazevoet 1995, Ratcliffe et al. 2000), although this must be regarded as an absolute minimum, as further colonies probably exist on Fogo and Santa Antão, and individuals have also been observed breeding in the central mountain range of Santiago Island (Ratcliffe et al. 2000) and in the PN Serra Malagueta (Santiago). Until further data are available, the population is estimated to include 1,000-2,000 mature individuals, assumed to equate to 1,500-3,000 individuals in total. Although a further analysis is necessary to conclude to assess the current population trend of P. feae, preliminary results of Fogo data reflects a decline due to a number of threats that are likely to be similar in the four  breeding islands since all of them are inhabited by rural communities (T. Militão et al. 2016; Militão et al. submitted).

Trend Justification:  Although a further analysis is necessary to conclude to assess the current population trend of P. feae, preliminary results of Fogo data reflects a decline due to a number of threats that are likely to be similar in the four  breeding islands (T. Militão et al. 2016; Militão et al. submitted).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1000-2000Continuing 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:It breeds in mountainous, rocky areas up to 2,200 m, and previously bred in mountain woodland, but this habitat no longer remains (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Egg laying takes place from mid January to mid February (T. Militão et al. 2016). Birds remained around the breeding area during their non-breeding season (Ramos et al. 2016) and they are mainly oceanic (J. González-Solís in litt.).

Systems:Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):16
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There is growing knowledge on threats to this species in Fogo (T. Militão et al. 2016). It is thought to be susceptible to invasive non-native predators, particularly cats (Medina et al. 2010), direct harvesting by humans and habitat degradation (P. L. Geraldes in litt. 2014). Birds are predated by cats and rats, collected by people for food and medicinal purposes, and breeding sites are limited by overgrazing by goats (Barov and Derhé 2011). The increase of artificial lights near the breeding colonies can also affect the breeding success of the species through direct mortality of juveniles during their first flights or habitat selection of adults for breeding.


Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway

A European action plan was published in 1996 (Zino et al. 1996) and its implementation reviewed in 2010 (Barov and Derhé 2011), although the plans and review included both P. feae and P. deserta since they were prepared before the split of these taxa. A national park was established at Chã das Caldeiras on Fogo (D. Menezes and P. Oliveira in litt. 2007). The conservation of Pterodroma feae was incorporated into the park's agenda (Ratcliffe et al. 2000, D. Menezes and P. Oliveira in litt. 2007), but the park administration has had to deal with serious financial and operational problems (D. Menezes and P. Oliveira in litt. 2007). The park is involved in the basic monitoring of the population in Fogo (since 2010) and Serra Malagueta (Santiago, since 2014).

Conservation Actions Proposed

Conduct coordinated surveys to obtain an up-to-date estimate for the total breeding population. Continue annual surveys to monitor population trends. Study the at-sea distribution of the species. Study the impacts of various threats. Discourage off-take by people on the Cape Verde islands through awareness campaigns. Control cats, rats and goats on the Cape Verde islands. Control the expansion of public illumination and lights associated to main infrastructures (hotels, football courts, ports, etc).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Ticked this species as breeding endemic.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Pterodroma feae (amended version of assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22728011A119181304. . Downloaded on 22 January 2018.
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