Giant petrel population reviews published by Marine Ornithology



The latest issue of the international journal Marine Ornithology (Vol. 28, No. 2 of 2008) is now available online (click here for the Table of Contents and to access PDFs of individual papers).


Two papers in the issue give information on population numbers of ACAP-listed Northern Macronectes halli and Southern M. giganteus Giant Petrels.


Heather Lynch and co-authors report on counts suggesting increasing populations made at four sites on the Antarctic Peninsula from 2001 to 2006, two of which (Barrientos Island and Hannah Point) have had Visitor Guidelines published by the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat.  A listing of Antarctic protected sites supporting Southern Giant Petrel breeding colonies is at


In the second paper Donna Patterson and co-authors review population data up to 1999/2000 and estimate global population sizes of 11 210 breeding pairs for Northern and 30 575 pairs for Southern Giant Petrels, both regarded as conservative estimates.


Both species of giant petrels have recently been considered for re-listing from Near-threatened to Least Concern by BirdLife International on behalf of the World Conservation Union, due to increasing numbers and the discovery of new populations (see earlier new item).  These proposed changes have now been adopted and will be published in the 2009 Red Data List later in the year (


Click here for the ACAP Species Assessment for the Southern Giant Petrel.


Lynch, H.J., Naveen, R. & Fagan, W.F. 2008.  Censuses of penguin, Blue-eyed Shag Phalacrocorax atriceps and Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus populations on the Antarctic Peninsula, 2001–2007.  Marine Ornithology 36: 83–97.

Patterson, D.L., Woehler, E.J., Croxall, J.P., Cooper, J., Poncet, S., Peter, H.-U., Hunter, S. & Fraser, W.R. 2008.  Breeding distribution and population status of the Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli and Southern Giant Petrel M. giganteus.  Marine Ornithology 36: 115–124.


Posted by John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 7 March 2009

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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