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Peruvian Diving-petrel Pelecanoides garnotii
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This species has an extremely small occupied breeding range on four islands. All subpopulations are declining and some rapidly. It consequently qualifies as Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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: #

Pelecanoides garnoti Collar and Andrew (1988)

22 cm. Small plump, black-and-white petrel that flies low and fast on whirring wings. Mostly blackish above and dull white below, with white tips to scapulars forming pale stripe. Browner face and sides to neck. Dusky sides to breast. Similar spp. Magellanic Diving-petrel P. magellani has white fringes to upperpart feathers and characteristic white half-collar extending from throat behind eye to rear of crown.

Distribution and population
Pelecanoides garnotii formerly bred on offshore islands from Isla Lobos de Tierra, Peru, to Isla Chiloé, Chile. It was numerous (e.g. c.100,000 pairs, and perhaps more, on Isla Chañaral, Chile, in 1938 [Vilina 1992]), but has declined significantly. In Peru, there were c.12,000-13,000 pairs on San Gallán and La Vieja Islands in 1995-1996 (Jahncke and Goya 1998). This is considerably higher than the c.1,500 individuals estimated in the early 1990s, probably because of improved information rather than an actual increase. In May-Aug 2010 a new survey of La Vieja Islands documented 102,343 active nests (c. 95% on La Vieja), of which 36,450 were occupied, indicating at least a three-fold increase in pairs since 1996, and possibly significantly more (C. Zavalaga in litt. 2010). Two small colonies were found on Corcovado Island, Peru in 2005, extending the current breeding distriubtion c.700 km north of La Vieja, its main breeding centre (Valverde 2006). A colony may also be present again on the Lobos de Afuera Islands where two individuals were sighted in 2003 and 2004 (Figueroa and Stucchi 2008). In Chile, 220 nests were found on Isla Pan de Azúcar in the late 1980s, where 500+ were seen offshore in November 1993 (S. N. G. Howell in litt. 1999), and 300 nests were reported on Isla Choros in the late 1980s, which had increased to an estimated 1,550 active nests in 2001-2003 (Simeone et al. 2003). It has been recorded throughout the year near Isla Chañaral, and may still breed there or on small islands to the south (Vilina 1992).

Population justification
In Peru, there were c.12,000-13,000 pairs on San Gallán and La Vieja Islands in 1995-1996; these numbers are supplemented by additional, though small, colonies off Chile.

Trend justification
The species is detrimentally affected by a number of threatening processes: guano extraction and exploitation for food, predation by introduced rats and dogs on breeding islands, incidental bycatch at sea and increasing frequency of El Niño Southern Oscillation events.

It excavates deep burrows in thick guano for nesting, but may also burrow in sandy soils or use natural rock-crevices. Breeding has been recorded throughout the year (Riveros-Salcedo and Jahncke Aparicio 1990, Jahncke and Goya 1998), with least activity in November. There are two breeding periods, with some evidence that individual birds breed twice annually (Riveros-Salcedo and Jahncke Aparicio 1990, Jahncke and Goya 1998, M. de L. Brooke verbally 2000). In the non-breeding season, it occurs close to breeding islands in the rich upwelling waters of the Humboldt Current. In Peru, it feeds, even in heavily fished areas, on small crustaceans and small fish (mostly larvae) (Jahncke et al. 1999). At La Vieja Island, Peru, Peruvian anchovy Engraulis ringens (33.9%), the small krill Euphausia mucronata (26.8%) and squat lobster Pleuroncodes monodon (24.3%) were the most important prey species (García-Godos and Goya 2006). High monthly variability in the main prey suggests an opportunistic feeding behaviour associated with prey avaliability (García-Godos and Goya 2006).

Guano extraction is probably responsible for the massive historical declines. La Vieja is still harvested every 5-7 years, when the species is also exploited for food, but extraction and hunting are probably most significant on San Gallán (M. de L. Brooke in litt. 1999). It has been extirpated by introduced predators on Chañaral (foxes) (Vilina 1992), and probably San Lorenzo and El Frontón (rats and cats) (Jahncke et al. 1999). There are dogs on San Gallán and possibly rats on the Chilean breeding islands. Such predators probably prevent recolonisations. Heavy commercial fishing reduces food availability and causes mortality through incidental bycatch. These threats magnify the detrimental effects of natural predation and the increasingly frequent El Niño Southern Oscillation. At Choros, fishermen hunted European rabbits Oryctolagus cunniculus, usually by chasing them, potentially damaging burrows (Simeone et al. 2003). Disturbance from tourism and illegal landings is a problem at Choros (Simeone et al. 2003).

Conservation Actions Underway
All colonies are in reserves but only La Vieja has trained guards (Jahncke et al. 1999). There have been searches for additional colonies in Chile (Vilina 1992). In December 2009, 22 guano islands, 11 peninsulas (guano reserves) and adjacent waters, covering about 140,000 ha including 3 km offshore, were added to Peru's national protected area system (Harrison 2009).Conservation Actions Proposed
Address the complex issue of guano extraction (M. de L. Brooke in litt. 1999). Provide artificial burrows (M. de L. Brooke in litt. 1999). Control predators on breeding islands. Survey islands close to Corcovado Island, Peru with similar characterisitics for breeding sites (Valverde 2006). Establish permanent monitoring of the largest colony at La Vieja Island (García-Godos and Goya 2006).

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.

Figueroa, J.; Stucchi, M. 2008. Peruvian Diving Petrels Pelecanoides garnotii on Lobos de Afuera Islands, Peru. Marine Ornithology 36(2): 189-190.

García-Godos, I.; Goya, E. 2006. Diet of the Peruvian Diving Petrel Pelecanoides garnotii at La Vieja Island, Peru, 1997-2000: potential fishery interactions and conservation implications. Marine Ornithology 34: 33-41.

Harrison, C. S. 2009. Peru protects guano islands and vast associated marine area. Pacific Seabirds 36(2): 46.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Jahncke, J.; García-Godos, A.; Goya, E. 1999. Diet of the Peruvian Diving-petrel at La Vieja and San Gallan, Peru. Journal of Field Ornithology 70: 71-79.

Jahncke, J.; Goya, E. 1998. The status of the Peruvian Diving-petrel population at its main breeding areas along the coast of Peru. Colonial Waterbirds 21: 94-7.

Riveros-Salcedo, J. C.; Jahncke Aparicio, J. 1990. The Peruvian Diving-petrel Pelecanoides garnotii in Peru. Pacific Seabird Group Bulletin 17: 32-33.

Simeone, A.; Luna-Jorquera, G.; Garthe, S.; Bernal, M.; Sepulveda, F.; Villablanca, R.; Ellenberg, U.; Contreras, M.; Munoz, J.; Ponce, T. 2003. Breeding distribution and abundance of seabirds on islands off north-central Chile. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 76: 323-333.

Valverde, M. 2006. First record of the endangered Peruvian Diving Petrel Pelecanoides garnotii, breeding on Corcovado Island, Peru. Marine Ornithology 34: 75-76.

Vilina, Y. A. 1992. Status of the Peruvian Diving-petrel, Pelecanoides garnotii, on Chañaral Island, Chile. Colonial Waterbirds 15: 137-139.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

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

Text account compilers
Anderson, O., Bird, J., Calvert, R., Capper, D., Clay, R., Lascelles, B. & Stuart, T.

Brooke, M. & Howell, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pelecanoides garnotii. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Peruvian diving-petrel (Pelecanoides garnotii) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Procellariidae (Petrels, Shearwaters)
Species name author (Lesson, 1828)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 471,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species