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Previously assumed to have been Extinct following the lack of records since three specimens were collected in the 1800s, this species was spectacularly rediscovered in 2003, with multiple annual records subsequently. Although there is very little information on which to base an assessment, the species has been precautionarily classified as Critically Endangered on the basis of an extremely small population which could be susceptible to the impacts of introduced predators. Further observations and information may well lead to a revision of the criteria triggered, and possibly the category to which it is assigned.
Brooke, M. De L. 2004. Albatrosses and petrels across the world. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Oceanites maorianus (Brooke, 2004) endemic to New Zealand, was not listed by Turbott (1990) as previously believed to be extinct.
17 cm. A medium-sized storm petrel with noticeably large head, long legs and long feet, the latter projecting well beyond the square tail. Head, neck and upperparts blackish-brown except for pale carpal bar, white rump and uppertail coverts. Breast blackish-brown grading into blackish streaks on white belly, flanks and undertail coverts, but the amount of streaking highly variable. On the dark underwing, there is a pale central patch. Bill, eye, legs and feet black. Toes extend well beyond the tail in flight, which is swift-like with alternating flapping and glides. Similar spp. Black-bellied Storm Petrel Fregatta tropica, much larger, lacks the streaked flanks, generally has a black belly stripe and has broader, more rounded wings. White-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta grallaria lacks any streaking on the normally white upper breast and belly (some populations have dark bellied forms) and also has broader, more rounded wings, and toes do not project beyond tail. Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus is all dark ventrally, but does have a similar, but not the same, flight progression.
Oliver, W. R. B. 1955. New Zealand birds. Reed, Wellington, New Zealand.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.
Holdaway, R. N. 1999. Introduced predators and avifaunal extinction in New Zealand. In: MacPhee, R.D.E. (ed.), Extinctions in near time: causes, contexts and consequences, pp. 189-238. Plenum Press, New York.
Bourne, W. R. P.; Jouanin, C. 2004. The origin of specimens of New Zealand Storm Petrel (Paeleornis maoriana Mathews, 1932). Notornis: 57-58.
Gaskin, C.; Baird, K. 2005. Observations of black and white storm petrels in the Hauraki Gulf, November 2003 - June 2005: were they of New Zealand Storm Petrels? Notornis 52(4): 181-194.
Anon. 2006. New Zealand Storm-petrel - in the hand! Birding World 19: 44.
Stephenson, B. 2006. New Zealand Storm-petrels captured in the Hauraki Gulf. Forest and Bird 319: 7.
Stephenson, B. 2006. First transmitters fitted to New Zealand Storm Petrels. Southern Bird: 8-9.
Bourne, W. R. P.; Jouanin, C.; Catto, J. V. F. 2004. The original specimens of the New Zealand Storm-petrel. Notornis 51: 191.
Medway, D. G. 2004. The place of collection of the original specimens of Pealeornis maoriana Mathews, 1932. Notornis 51: 58-59.
Stephenson, B. 2008. Ghost birds. Forest and Bird: 38-39.
Howell, S. N. G.; Collins, C. 2008. A possible New Zealand Storm Petrel off New Caledonia, southwest Pacific. Birding World 21(5): 207-209.
Stephenson, B. M.; Flood, R.; Thomas, B.; Saville, S. 2008. Rediscovery of the New Zealand Storm Petrel (Pealeornis maoriana Mathews 1932): two sightings that revised our knowledge of storm petrels. Notornis 55(2): 77-83.
Flood, B. 2003. The New Zealand storm-petrel is not extinct. Birding World 16(11): 479-482.
Saville, S., Stephenson, B., Southey, I. 2003. A possible sighting of an 'extinct' bird - the New Zealand storm-petrel. Birding World 16(4): 173-175.
Text account compilers
Anderson, O., Benstead, P., Bird, J., Brooks, T., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Lascelles, B., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
Baird, K., Gaskin, C., Hitchmough, R., Saville, S., Scofield, P., Stahl, J., Stephenson, B., Szabo, M., Weeber, B.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Oceanites maorianus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013.
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
|Current IUCN Red List category||Critically Endangered|
|Species name author||(Mathews, 1932)|
|Population size||1-49 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||14 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|