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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Arriving at the breeding colonies in November and December, the pink-footed shearwater lays one white egg in a burrow between December and January. Both parents share the incubation duties, foraging in between shifts (2). After 48 – 56 days the egg hatches (3), and the chick will rapidly learn to fly, before leaving the breeding site in April or May (2). Feeding out to sea, the pink-footed shearwater dives, plunges and picks food from the surface. It takes sardines, anchovies, squid and occasionally crustaceans (2) (3).
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Description

Members of the shearwater genus cruise the oceans, gliding so low that they appear to shear the water surface. The wings are long and slender, usually used for gliding rather than flapping flight. The pink-footed shearwater is dully coloured, being mostly brown and white, but with pale pink feet and legs that give this species its name. The head and upperparts are brown, fading to white on the underside, with mottled sides and underwings. Both paler and darker individuals of the species have been seen (2).
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Distribution

Range Description

Ardenna creatopus is an east Pacific seabird that breeds only on Robinson Crusoe (a few thousand pairs in 1986 [Brooke 1987]; 2,750 occupied burrows in 2002 [Brooke 2004]; 8,459 burrows in 2005-06, of which up to 60% [5,075] may be occupied [Hodum unpubl. data]) and Santa Clara (2,000-3,000 pairs in 1991 [Brooke 1987] and 3,470 breeding pairs in 2006 [Hodum unpubl. data]) in the Juan Fernndez Islands, and on Isla Mocha (13,000-17,000 pairs [Guicking 1999], but possibly up to 25,000 pairs [D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999]) off the coast of Arauco, Chile. Recent evidence suggests another colony on Isla Guafo, south of Isla Mocha (Commission for Environmental Cooperation 2005). These sites combined indicate around 20,000 breeding pairs, which would imply a maximum of 100,000 individuals (Brooke 2004). Following breeding, it disperses northward along the west coast of South America towards North America (CEC 2005). The migration is evident by its increasing presence along the continental shelf from the Gulf of California in Mexico to British Columbia in Canada, during April and May each year. Numbers peak between August and October, followed by a rapid decline in November, as birds return to their breeding colonies (CEC 2005). A specimen has also been taken from the Atlantic coast of Argentina (Mazar Barnett and Navas 1998) and there are records from New Zealand and Australia (Patterson 1991, D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999). Despite probable declines in the past, populations in the Juan Fernndez group appear to have been more or less stable over the past 15 years (CEC 2005). In contrast populations on Isla Mocha may be declining owing to the effects of chick harvesting (CEC 2005).

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations, but breeds in a single nation

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Non-breeding

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Transient

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Global Range: (<100-250 square km (less than about 40-100 square miles)) Breeding range is restricted to islands off Chile (Más á Tierra [Robinson Crusoe] and Santa Clara in the Juan Fernández group, and Isla Mocha in Arauco Bay) (AOU 1998). Away from nesting islands, the species ranges at sea off the Pacific coast of the Americas, north at least as far as south-coastal Alaska (AOU 1998).

Coded range extent refers to the terrestrial breeding range, which is less than 150 square kilometers, based on the sizes of the nesting islands..

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Range

Mocha and Juan Fernández islands off Chile; ranges to n Pacific.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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Range

Spending much of its time over the east Pacific Ocean, the pink-footed shearwater breeds on just three islands; Robinson Crusoe and Santa Clara in the Juan Fernández Islands, and Isla Mocha off the central Chilean coast. It spends the winter season off the western coast of North America, and has also been seen off the coast of Argentina, and around Australia and New Zealand (2).
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 48 cm

Weight: 721 grams

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Type Information

Type for Puffinus creatopus "Cooper (Ms.)" (Ms.)" & Coues
Catalog Number: USNM 31964
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: unknown; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): J. Cooper
Year Collected: 1863
Locality: San Nicolas Island, Ventura, California, United States, North America
  • Type: (Ms.)" & Coues. (Not Earlier Than April 25) 1864. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia. for 1864: 131.
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Type for Puffinus creatopus "Cooper (Ms.)" (Ms.)" & Coues
Catalog Number: USNM 31964
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: unknown; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): J. Cooper
Year Collected: 1863
Locality: San Nicolas Island, Ventura, California, United States, North America
  • Type: (Ms.)" & Coues. (Not Earlier Than April 25) 1864. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia. for 1864: 131.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Birds arrive at the colonies in late October-November. Eggs are laid in December with fledging and dispersal in late April-early May (Guicking 1999). On Robinson Crusoe, nesting has been recorded in burrows scattered throughout badly eroded, generally sparsely vegetated but occasionally forested habitat at elevations of 150-300 m. On Santa Clara, the species breeds in scattered colonies in eroded terrain at elevations from 15-300m (Hodum and Wainstein 2004). On Isla Mocha, the colony is in forest (predominant tree Aextoxicon punctatum), with the highest burrow densities along mountain ridges and between the roots of old-growth trees up to 390 m (Guicking 1999, D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999). It feeds primarily in offshore waters over the continental shelf but also in pelagic waters (Hodum et al. 2004), mostly on fish (sardines and anchovies [Becker 2000]), squid and to a lesser extent, crustaceans (D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999) . Birds breeding on Santa Clara demonstrate a diet dominated by fish, with squid comprising a smaller proportion of the diet (CEC 2005).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 5257 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2623 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 10.712 - 27.531
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.058 - 4.675
  Salinity (PPS): 30.381 - 34.642
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.707 - 6.587
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.279 - 0.800
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.436 - 16.169

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 10.712 - 27.531

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.058 - 4.675

Salinity (PPS): 30.381 - 34.642

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.707 - 6.587

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.279 - 0.800

Silicate (umol/l): 1.436 - 16.169
 
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Comments: This is a pelagic seabird that prefers cold waters of the open ocean (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Nests are on islands with soils suitable for burrowing; nesting areas are in forests (Isla Mocha) or in open grassy areas (Juan Fernández Archipelago).

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Depth range based on 5257 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2623 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 10.712 - 27.531
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.058 - 4.675
  Salinity (PPS): 30.381 - 34.642
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.707 - 6.587
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.279 - 0.800
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.436 - 16.169

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 10.712 - 27.531

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.058 - 4.675

Salinity (PPS): 30.381 - 34.642

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.707 - 6.587

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.279 - 0.800

Silicate (umol/l): 1.436 - 16.169
 
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A pelagic species, the pink-footed shearwater comes to land to breed, preferring to burrow into soil amongst scattered vegetation on the Juan Fernández Islands, but nesting on mountain ridges in a forest habitat (2).
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Migrates off Central American coast mainly May-June and September-October. Occurs off Pacific coast of North America mainly spring-fall; the vast majority of the population is off the North American coast during the northern spring and summer. Observed October-December at sea near Hawaii (Pratt et al. 1987).

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Fishes and small crustaceans. Eats more fishes than do most shearwaters (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5

Comments: Breeds at only three locations (AOU 1998, COSEWIC 2004, BirdLife International 2008).

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Global Abundance

10,000 - 100,000 individuals

Comments: The most recent data, based on burrow counts (e.g., Guicking 1999, Hodum and Wainstein 2003) suggest that the global adult population is approximately 20,000-30,000 pairs (COSEWIC 2004, BirdLife International 2008), with at least a couple thousand pairs on Más á Tierra, about 2,500 pairs on Santa Clara, and up to 25,000 pairs on Isla Mocha.

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General Ecology

Solitary or gregarious at sea (Stiles and Skutch 1989). May be seen in association with sooty shearwater.

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Eggs are laid in December-January. Clutch size is 1. Young begin to fly 89-95 days after hatching (Terres 1980).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Puffinus creatopus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 3 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CCTATACCTAATTTTTGGCGCATGAGCCGGTATAGTCGGAACCGCCCTCAGCCTACTTATCCGCGCAGAACTTGGTCAACCAGGGACACTCCTGGGAGATGACCAAATCTACAATGTAATCGTTACCGCCCATGCTTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTCATAGTAATACCCGTCATAATTGGAGGATTCGGAAACTGATTAGTTCCCCTCATAATCGGTGCACCCGACATAGCATTCCCACGTATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTACTACCCCCATCCTTCCTCCTCCTACTAGCCTCCTCTACAGTAGAAGCAGGAGCAGGCACAGGATGAACTGTGTATCCTCCTCTAGCTGGTAACCTTGCACATGCCGGAGCCTCAGTCGACCTGGCCATCTTCTCCCTCCACCTAGCAGGTGTATCTTCTATCCTAGGTGCAATCAACTTCATTACAACAGCTATCAACATAAAACCCCCAGCTCTATCACAATATCAAACCCCTCTGTTCGTATGATCCGTACTCATCACTGCCGTCCTACTCCTACTCTCACTTCCAGTCCTCGCAGCAGGAATCACTATACTATTAACAGACCGAAACCTAAACACTACATTCTTTGACCCAGCTGGCGGAGGAGATCCAGTCCTATATCAACACCTTTTCTGATTCTTTGGCCACCCNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Puffinus creatopus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
D2

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s
Becker, D., Guicking, D., Hodum, P. & Torres-Mura, J.

Justification
This species has a very small breeding range at only three known locations, which renders it susceptible to stochastic events and human impacts. If invasive species, harvesting of chicks, bycatch in fisheries or other factors are found to be causing population declines, then the species would warrant uplisting to Endangered.


History
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Threatened (T)