Working to protect Mexico’s Critically Endangered Townsend’s Shearwaters from artificial lighting at their only breeding locality

The Critically Endangered Townsend´s Shearwater Puffinus auricularis is currently known to breed only on 132-km² Socorro Island in Mexico’s Revillagigedo Archipelago (click here).

A project by Dr. Juan Martínez of Mexico’s Instituto de Ecología, A.C. is aiming to replace street lights on Socorro to reduce light attraction and associated deaths due to collisions when Townsend’s Shearwaters are blinded.  The benefits of this change will be assessed by continuing ongoing long-term monitoring based on direct observations and automated recording.  In addition to replacing the lamps the project will collaborate with the Mexican Navy to retrieve and save shearwaters landing at its base on the island (click here).

A fledgling Townsend's Shearwater, photograph by Juan Martínez

The project is being part-funded by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and supported by the Mexican Navy’s Corps of Engineers, who will provide transport and erect the new lights – work which has already commenced.

Click here for an earlier report in ACAP Latest News on changing artificial lighting to protect breeding and fledging shearwaters and petrels.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 06 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.

About ACAP

ACAP Secretariat

119 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000

Tel: +61 3 6165 6674