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Pink-footed Shearwater Ardenna creatopus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has a very small breeding range at only three known locations, which renders it susceptible to stochastic events and human impacts. If invasive species, harvesting of chicks, bycatch in fisheries or other factors are found to be causing population declines, then the species would warrant uplisting to Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Taxonomic note
Ardenna creatopus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Puffinus.

Ardenna creatopus Christidis and Boles (2008), Puffinus creatopus Coues, 1864

48 cm. Large, dull shearwater. Dull greyish-brown head and upperparts. Thinly barred sides of head and neck becoming mottled towards sides of breast. Brownish mottling continues down flanks to merge into bolder brownish lower belly, undertail-coverts and thighs with slight pale mottling. Rest of underparts dull white. Dark mottling on underwing, especially in axillaries, over pale background. Pale pink feet. Yellowish bill with dark tip. Plumage varies between paler and darker morphs. Similar spp. Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus is smaller and more slender with narrower wings, longer tail and thin dark bill.

Distribution and population
Puffinus creatopus is an east Pacific seabird that breeds only on Robinson Crusoe (a few thousand pairs in 1986 [Brooke 1987]; 2,750 occupied burrows in 2002 [Brooke 2004]; 8,459 burrows in 2005-06, of which up to 60% [5,075] may be occupied [Hodum unpubl. data]) and Santa Clara (2,000-3,000 pairs in 1991 [Brooke 1987] and 3,470 breeding pairs in 2006 [Hodum unpubl. data]) in the Juan Fernández Islands, and on Isla Mocha (13,000-17,000 pairs [Guicking 1999], but possibly up to 25,000 pairs [D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999]) off the coast of Arauco, Chile. Recent evidence suggests another colony on Isla Guafo, south of Isla Mocha (Commission for Environmental Cooperation 2005). These sites combined indicate around 20,000 breeding pairs, which would imply a maximum of 100,000 individuals (Brooke 2004). Following breeding, it disperses northward along the west coast of South America towards North America (CEC 2005). The migration is evident by its increasing presence along the continental shelf from the Gulf of California in Mexico to British Columbia in Canada, during April and May each year. Numbers peak between August and October, followed by a rapid decline in November, as birds return to their breeding colonies (CEC 2005). A specimen has also been taken from the Atlantic coast of Argentina (Mazar Barnett and Navas 1998) and there are records from New Zealand and Australia (Patterson 1991, D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999). Despite probable declines in the past, populations in the Juan Fernández group appear to have been more or less stable over the past 15 years (CEC 2005). In contrast populations on Isla Mocha may be declining owing to the effects of chick harvesting (CEC 2005).

Population justification
There may be around 20,000 breeding pairs, which would imply a maximum of 100,000 individuals.

Trend justification
Trends are not known. Further research is needed to determine if introduced predators on Robinson Crusoe Island and rats and harvesting of chicks on Isla Mocha are having any impact (Brooke 2004).

Birds arrive at the colonies in late October-November. Eggs are laid in December with fledging and dispersal in late April-early May (Guicking 1999). On Robinson Crusoe, nesting has been recorded in burrows scattered throughout badly eroded, generally sparsely vegetated but occasionally forested habitat at elevations of 150-300 m. On Santa Clara, the species breeds in scattered colonies in eroded terrain at elevations from 15-300m (Hodum and Wainstein 2004). On Isla Mocha, the colony is in forest (predominant tree Aextoxicon punctatum), with the highest burrow densities along mountain ridges and between the roots of old-growth trees up to 390 m (Guicking 1999, D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999). It feeds primarily in offshore waters over the continental shelf but also in pelagic waters (Hodum et al. 2004), mostly on fish (sardines and anchovies [Becker 2000]), squid and to a lesser extent, crustaceans (D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999) . Birds breeding on Santa Clara demonstrate a diet dominated by fish, with squid comprising a smaller proportion of the diet (CEC 2005).

Predation by cats and coatis on Robinson Crusoe, and cats and dogs on Mocha (Guicking 1999) may be the most significant threat. Additionally, rats predate chicks and eggs on Robinson Crusoe and possibly on Mocha (J. C. Torres-Mura in litt. 1999). Chicks are harvested by islanders on Mocha in March-May, with an estimated 20% of all chicks (3000-5000) taken in 1998 (Guicking 1999, Commission for Environmental Cooperation 2005). European rabbits compete with shearwaters for burrows on Robinson Crusoe but were eradicated from Santa Clara in 2003 (Hodum unpubl. data). Soil erosion by goats and rabbits affects populations on Robinson Crusoe (Guicking 1999, J. C. Torres-Mura in litt. 1999). Cattle in one colony on Robinson Crusoe cause soil erosion and burrow collapses (Hodum unpubl. data). Erosion due to vegetation loss causes burrow loss on Santa Clara (Hodum unpubl. data). Birds have been entangled in fishing gear near colonies and in the non-breeding range (Guicking 1999, D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999), and this potentially poses a major threat (Guicking et al. 2001, Commission for Environmental Cooperation 2005). The distribution of longline commercial fishing activities overlap both spatially and temporally with the wintering range of the pink-footed shearwater over the continental shelf of North America, making the risk of interaction with the fishing fleet highly likely (CEC 2005). Contamination by chemical pollutants (e.g. mercury) may also be a threat (Becker 2000), as well as plastic debris and oil pollution. The species is known to raft on the water in large groups in both the breeding and wintering range, which increases the risk of severe mortality from spills, either chronic or major events (CEC 2005). The species is potentially threatened by climate change because it has a geographically bounded distribution: its altitudinal distribution falls entirely within 1,000 m of the highest mountain top within its range (914 m) (Birdlife International unpublished data).

Conservation Actions Underway
The Juan Fernández Islands were designated as a national park in 1935 (protected from 1967) and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977. The Chilean government began a habitat restoration programme in 1997 (J. C. Torres-Mura in litt. 1999) and the islands have been nominated for World Heritage listing (Hulm 1995). The distribution on Robinson Crusoe and Santa Clara was determined in 2006. The colony on Mocha is within a national reserve, which has had a management plan since 1998 and two reserve guards (Guicking 1999, J. C. Torres-Mura in litt. 1999). Harvesting of chicks is illegal (Guicking 1999) although this is unenforced. The species is listed as a Species of Common Conservation Concern by the Commission for Environmental Conservation (CEC). In 2007, Chile and Canada created national conservation plans for the species. The Juan Fernández Islands Conservancy has worked on the Juan Fernández Archipelago since the 2001–02 breeding season. Satellite tracking is underway to determine foraging areas and geolocators have been deployed to track migration routes (CEC 2005). Community-based education and conservation programmes are also underway (CEC 2005).  
Conservation Actions Proposed
Remove all introduced mammals, initially within a feasibility study area (D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999). Determine breeding population estimate for Isla Mocha, taking into account burrow occupancy. Conduct quantitative assessment of population-level impacts of chick harvesting and reduce chick harvesting (Guicking 1999). Replant native flora, initially within the feasibility study area but also at forest edges, using exclosures on Robinson Crusoe (D. Guicking and P. H. Becker in litt. 1999). Enforce grazing restrictions on national park land. Plant fast-growing, soil-binding trees along highly eroded slopes for short-term relief. Assess the threat posed by the fishing industry, especially in Chilean waters (Guicking et al. 2001) and along migration routes, particularly in Peruvian waters. Establish and maintain a population monitoring programme for Juan Fernández and Mocha breeding populations. Clarify the severity of threats faced in the non-breeding range. Build capacity for research and at-sea monitoring in Mexico.

Becker, P. H. 2000. Mercury levels in Pink-footed Shearwaters Puffinus creatopus breeding on Mocha Island, Chile. Ornitologia Neotropical 11: 165-168.

Brooke, M. de L. 1987. The birds of the Juan Fernandez Islands, Chile. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Brooke, M. De L. 2004. Albatrosses and petrels across the world. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Commission for Environmental Cooperation. 2005. North American Conservation Action Plan: Pink-footed Shearwater Puffinus creatopus.

Force, M. P.; Balance, L. T. 2009. A Pink-footed Shearwater in Hawaai'i. 'Elepaio 69(6): 39-40.

Guicking, D.; Leuther, C.; Ristow, D. 1999. Pink-footed Shearwaters on Isla Mocha, Chile. World Birdwatch 21: 20-23.

Guicking, D.; Ristow, D.; Becker, P. H.; Schlatter, R.; Berthold, P.; Querner, U. 2001. Satellite tracking of the Pink-footed Shearwater in Chile. Waterbirds 24: 8-15.

Hodum, P., Wainstain, M. and Schlatter, R. 2004. Satellite tracking of pink-footed shearwaters (Puffinus creatopus). National Geographic Society, Washington, USA.

Hodum, P.; Wainstein, M. 2003. Biology and conservation of the Juan Fernadez seabirds community.

Hulm, P. 1995. Robinson Crusoe's Islands face an uncertain future. Plant Talk: 19-21.

Mazar Barnett, J.; Navas, J. R. 1998. Primer registro de la Pardela Patas Rosas Puffinus creatopus en las costas Argentinas. Hornero 15: 43-44.

Patterson, R. M. 1991. RAOU records appraisal committee: opinions and case summaries 1988-1991. Submission no. 107. RAOU Report 80.

Further web sources of information
Audubon WatchList

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Anderson, O., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Clay, R., Frere, E., Lascelles, B.

Becker, D., Guicking, D., Hodum, P., Torres-Mura, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ardenna creatopus. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Procellariidae (Petrels, Shearwaters)
Species name author Coues, 1864
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 23,700,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species