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 Pterodroma macroptera

This taxon is Not Recognised as a species by BirdLife International.

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.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Taxonomic note
Pterodroma macroptera and P. gouldi (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as P. macroptera following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Distribution and population
The Great-winged Petrel breeds in the Southern Hemisphere between 30 and 50 degrees south with colonies on Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island (St Helena to UK), the Crozet Islands and Kerguelen Islands (French Southern Territories) the Prince Edward Islands (South Africa), and on the coasts of southern Australia and northern New Zealand. Outside the breeding season it dispereses widely in subtropical parts of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, mainly between 25 and 50 degrees south, though some birds will stray into the Antarctic zone (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

This marine species is highly pelagic and has a widespread but sparse distribution at sea. It feeds mostly on squid, with some fish and crustaceans, most of which it obtains by dipping and surface-seizing. It feeds mainly at night and may locate some cephalopods by their bioluminescence. It can occasionally be seen following cetaceans and will associate with other Procellariiformes. Breeding occurs in winter, starting in April, nesting being either solitary or in small colonies on oceanic islands on ridges, slopes or flat ground. Breeding usually occurs below 400 m, but has been recorded as high as 1400 m on Tristan de Cunha. It nests in burrows or above ground in rock crevices, among tree roots or under scrub (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

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

del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J. 1992. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Pterodroma macroptera. Downloaded from on 06/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/07/2015.

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 Not Recognised
Family Procellariidae (Petrels, Shearwaters)
Species name author (Smith, 1840)