Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Yelkouan Shearwater recommended to keep its threatened status of Vulnerable

The Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan, endemic to islands within the Mediterranean Sea, has been identified as a potential candidate for listing within the Albatross and Petrel Agreement.  Its conservation status of Vulnerable has been under review by BirdLife International this year, with the proposal to downlist the species to Least Concern because of a perception its populations are not decreasing in size (click here).

A detailed discussion on the downlisting proposal has been undertaken on the BirdLife International’s Globally Threatened Seabird Forum, with 21 individual submissions made, all arguing for retaining its current status.  As a consequence BirdLife has agreed to recommend that the shearwater’s Vulnerable category remain:

“We accept the argument that the most prudent approach at this stage would be to precautionarily maintain Yelkouan Shearwater as Vulnerable, recognising that the various components of the 2012 study may represent a more accurate assessment of the species’ status than the European Red List data, given the difficulties associated with monitoring the species.  If further study and monitoring fail to provide evidence of declines, the species should again be considered for downlisting in the future” (click here).


Yelkouan Shearwater, photograph by Matthew Borg Cardona


BirdLife International 2015.  European Red List of Birds.  Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 06 October 2015

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