Seven Australian shearwaters and petrels considered at high risk to climate change

Stephen Garnett and Donald Franklin (Charles Darwin University) have edited a newly-published book that considers the likely effects of climate change on Australian birds.  The book includes adaptation profiles for those Australian species that are considered both highly sensitive and highly exposed to climate change.

Seven species of procellariiforms are included as highly sensitive and exposed (click here).  They are Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus, Little Shearwater P. assimilis, Kermadec Petrel Pterodroma neglecta, Herald Petrel P. heraldica, Gould’s Petrel P. leucoptera, White-necked Petrel P. cervicalis and White-bellied Storm-Petrel Fregetta grallaria.


Wedge-tailed |Shearwaters, photograph by the Pacific Islands Avian Health Program

“This is the first climate change adaptation plan produced for a national faunal group anywhere in the world.  It outlines the nature of threats related to climate change for the Australian bird taxa most likely to be affected by climate change, and provides recommendations on what might be done to assist them and approximate costs of doing so.  It also features an analysis of how climate change will affect all Australian birds, explains why some species are likely to be more exposed or sensitive to it than others, and explores the theory and practice of conservation management under the realities of a changing climate.

Species profiles include maps showing current core habitat and modelled climatic suitability based on historical records, as well as maps showing projected climatic suitability in 2085 in relation to current core habitat.

Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Australian Birds is an important reference for policy makers, conservation scientists, land managers, climate change adaptation biologists, as well as bird watchers and advocacy groups”


 Garnett, S & Franklin, D. (Eds) 2014.  Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Australian Birds.  Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.  272 pp.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 21 June 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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