Australia considers listing the Flesh-footed Shearwater under its Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

Flesh-footed Sheawater 2 flying Tim Reid s

Flesh-footed Shearwater at sea

Photograph by Tim Reid

The Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes has been identified as a potential candidate for inclusion within ACAP. It is listed as of Least Concern globally, but has been considered at risk in Australia due to threats it faces from plastic ingestion, at-sea fisheries mortality, on-land predators and a decreasing national population (click here).

Following its nomination last year in March, Australia’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) is now considering the Flesh-footed Shearwater for inclusion within its Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act of 1999. The assessment process commenced on 1 October 2012 and is required to be completed by 30 September 2014 (click here). The process includes “a rigorous scientific assessment of the species or ecological community's threat status”.

Listing under the EPBC Act should lead to the Flesh-footed Shearwater being afforded better protection within Australia and its waters (click here).

A Flesh-footed Shearwater is dissected of its stomach load of plastic items

Photograph by Ian Hutton

With thanks to Jennifer Lavers for information.

Selected References:

Baker, G.B. & Wise, B.S. 2005. The impact of pelagic longline fishing on the Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes in eastern Australia. Biological Conservation 126: 306-316.

Cooper, J. & Baker, G.B. 2008. Identifying candidate species for inclusion within the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. Marine Ornithology 36: 1-8.

Hutton, I., Carlile, N. & Priddel, D. 2008. Plastic ingestion by Flesh-footed (Puffinus carneipes) and Wedge-tailed (Puffinus pacificus) shearwaters. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 142: 67-72.

Priddel, D., Carlile, N., Fullagar, P., Hutton, I. & O'Neill, L. 2006. Decline in the distribution and abundance of flesh-footed shearwaters (Puffinus carneipes) on Lord Howe Island, Australia. Biological Conservation 128: 412-424.

Thalman, S.J., Baker, G.B., Hindell, M. & Tuck, G,N, 2009. Longline fisheries and foraging distribution of Flesh-Footed Shearwaters in eastern Australia. The Journal of Wildlife Management 73: 399-406.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 8 April 2013

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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