Juan Fernandez Petrel

Scientific Name
Pterodroma externa
Conservation Status
Vulnerable (VU)

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Wikipedia Article

The Juan Fernndez Petrel (Pterodroma externa) is a species of seabird in the Procellariidae family. The Juan Fernndez Petrel breeds only on one island in Chile, Isla Alejandro Selkirk. The breeding population was estimated at 1,000,000 pairs in 198586, and there may be up to 35 million birds globally. It is threatened by predation from introduced species (cats and rats) and, to a lesser extent, habitat loss from introduced herbivores (goats). The IUCN Red List lists this species as Vulnerable due to its endemic status and threats from introduced predators. The Juan Fernndez Petrel is a large species of gadfly petrel, long with a wingspan of and a mass of . The upperparts are dark brownish-grey and there is a black M-shaped marking across the extended wings. The underparts are white, with the underside of the wing edged is black. The face is white, with a black "cap" extending to below the eyes. The bill is black with a hooked tip and houses the tubular nostrils that are unique to Procellariiformes. Its breeding habitat is high elevation (above ) ridges, where it digs a tunnel to raise one chick per year. Females lay a single, white egg in mid-November and both birds in a pair will take turns incubating the egg for approximately 60 days. The chick hatches in mid-February and is fed by both parents for approximately 90100 days before fledging in May. The chick remains underground in the burrow until it has reached fledgling mass and is fully feathered. Chicks are fed a diet consisting mainly of fish and squid that are brought up to the nest from sea level by the parents. During the breeding season, the Juan Fernndez Petrel is found foraging in waters surrounding Isla Alejandro Selkirk and Isla Robinson Crusoe, as well as coastal Chile. The birds can be found in flocks with pink-footed shearwaters and other seabirds. During the non-breeding season, Juan Fernndez Petrels forage in the equatorial currents and counter currents, north to the Hawaiian Islands. Previously, the Juan Fernndez Petrel was classified as a sub-species of the White-necked Petrel (Pterodroma cervicalis), which is found in the Tropical Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean.