A white-phase Southern Giant Petrel visits Gough Island

White-phase Southern Giant Petrels occur more commonly at high latitudes.  Gough Island in the South Atlantic is the most northerly breeding locality for the species and records of white-phase individuals are rare there, mostly seen during winter (Ryan 2007).  To date no white-phase birds have been seen ashore on Gough.

During September 2010 a white-phase Southern Giant Petrel was seen repeatedly over several days and photographed flying close by and on the sea surface from the m.v. S.A. Agulhas while anchored or steaming close inshore of the east coast of Gough Island.

Thanks to Steve Yaxley, Chief Engineer, m.v. S.A. Agulhas, who made the observations and took the photographs.


Ryan, P.G. (Ed.). 2007.  Field Guide to the Animals and Plants of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island.  Newbury: Tristan Government.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 11 October 2010

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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