400 000 pairs of Sooty Shearwaters on two Chilean island groups considered worthy of National Park status

Paul Scofield (Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand) and Ronnie Reyes-Arriagada write in Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía on the numbers of Sooty Shearwaters Puffinus griseus on two Chilean island groups in the Cape Horn Archipelago region.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“We documented the population size of Sooty Shearwater on the Wollaston and Hermite Island Groups.  A population of at least 100,000 pairs were found on Wollaston and there may be as many as 300,000 pairs in the Wollaston and Hermite Island Groups.  We also confirmed the presence of Magellanic Diving-petrel and Fuegian Storm-petrel in the Island Group and discussed the status of these taxa in southern Chile.  The status of the mammals found on these islands is also summarised and concerns are raised over the possibility that introduced mammals, especially beavers, muskrats, minks and feral cats may reach these pristine islands affecting seabird populations.”

The paper concludes:

“We recommend that the Chilean Government should give and enforce National Park status to these islands.  This would help to prevent illegal landings and allow monitoring of the islands, and also in the preparation of contingency plans against the invasion or introduction of unwanted predators.”

Sooty Shearwater, photographed by John Graham


Scofield, R.P. & Reyes-Arriagada, R. 2013.  A population estimate of the Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus in the Wollaston and Hermite Island Groups, Cape Horn Archipelago, Chile, and concerns over conservation in the area.  Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía 48: 623-628.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 26 January 2014

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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