Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Newell’s Shearwaters and Hawaiian Petrels get hit by rats on a Hawaiian island

The Endangered Newell’s Shearwater Puffinus newelli and Vulnerable Hawaiian Petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis are both endemic to the USA’s Hawaiian Islands.  Kauai is home to 90% of the World’s population of the shearwater, as well as holding important populations of the petrel.

On Kauai both species are under threat from introduced rats Rattus spp..  The Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project has filmed rats entering burrows: “KESRP is using infrared cameras to monitor the secret lives of endangered Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrels in remote locations of Hono o Na Pali Natural Area Reserve and Upper Limahuli Preserve.  Last year, at one specific Na Pali Coast site, rats alone killed 20 percent of nesting chicks” (click here).

Newell's Shearwater, photograph by Eric Vanderwerf

Kauai’s burrowing seabirds are also affected by feral Domestic Cats Felis catus.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 03 August 2014

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