Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

“Pacific Petrels in Peril”. BirdLife International announces a new initiative to save petrels, shearwaters and storm petrels in the Pacific Ocean

BirdLife International has announced its 'Pacific Petrels in Peril' initiative to address the conservation problems facing the smaller procellariiform species that occur in the tropical Pacific.

 “Sprinkled across the tropical Pacific, the innumerable islands of Oceania are home to some of the most unusual bird communities on the planet.  The Pacific Ocean is the petrel capital of the world, but these traditional companions of travellers and fishermen are in trouble in the region.”

Priority will be given to find the breeding sites of the little-known Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi, Critically Endangered Beck's Petrel P. becki and Vulnerable Heinroth's Shearwater Puffinus heinrothi.  Overall, 18 procellariiform species have been identified for attention, including a number of threatened gadfly petrels Pterodroma spp. and storm petrels.

“Most islands in Oceania have not had systematic surveys performed of breeding seabirds. While there are some threats at sea for petrels breeding in the region, the primary threats are on land.  Until we can eliminate predation pressure and the degradation of nesting and roosting sites, and establish them as secure areas, there will be no improvement in their conservation status.”

BirdLife intends to work with other organisations to “develop networks for improved communication, resource sharing, capacity building and further project development”.

Read more here.

Birdlife set up a Gadfly Petrel Conservation Group in 2008/09 with the aim of improving knowledge and conservation status of the 32 species of Pseudobulweria and Pterodroma petrels, but it has been seemingly inactive for some time.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 13 October 2015

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