Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Bannerman’s Shearwater of Japan’s Ogasawara Islands is deemed a full species, but is Endangered

Kazuto Kawakami (Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Ibaraki, Japan) and colleagues have published in the journal Ornithological Science on the taxonomic status of the globally Endangered Bannerman’s Shearwater Puffinus bannermani.

The paper’s abstract follows:

Puffinus lherminieri bannermani is a small black-and-white shearwater, which is endemic to the Ogasawara Islands, Japan. The taxonomic position of this shearwater is contentious. It is treated as a subspecies of Audubon's Shearwater P. lherminieri or the Tropical Shearwater P. bailloni in some checklists, while it is as considered monotypic, as Bannerman's Shearwater P. bannermani, in others. We examined the mitochondrial cytochrome b region to determine the taxon's phylogenetic position. While on the one hand the results showed that it was not genetically related to either P. lherminieri or P. bailloni, but formed a clade with P. myrtae, P. newelli, and P. auricularis, on the other hand, bannermani has diverged substantially from the other three taxa in both genetic and morphological features. This shearwater was first described as Bannerman's Shearwater, and our results confirm that P. lherminieri bannermani should be split from Audubon's Shearwater, and the monotypic Bannerman's Shearwater is recommended to be restored as a distinct species.”


A Bannerman's Shearwater at its breeding site on Minami-iwoto Island, Ogasawara Islands, June 2017

Photograph by Kazuto Kawakami

Click here to view more photographs of Bannerman's Shearwater.

Wth thanis to Kazuto Kawakami.


Kawakami, K., Eda , M., Izumi, H., Horikoshi, K. & Suzuki, H. 2018. Phylogenetic position of Endangered Puffinus lherminieri bannermani. Ornithological Science 17: 11-18.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 12 February 2018