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Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas
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The prevalence of threats from introduced predators on the species's main breeding grounds in Japan and additional factors such as fisheries bycatch and human disturbance suggests that the species is in overall decline. It is therefore precautionarily classified as Near Threatened as it almost meets the requirements for listing as threatened under criteria A2abe+3be+4abe. Further data are required from across its range to quantify the trend.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
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.

Distribution and population
This species is found in the western Pacific, breeding on the coast and on offshore islands of Japan, Russia, and on islands off the coasts of China, North Korea and South Korea. It migrates south during winter, being found off the coasts of Viet Nam, New Guinea, the Philippines and Australia (del Hoyo et al. 1992). The global population has been estimated to number c. 3,000,000 individuals (Brooke 2004). In Japan, where it is thought that the majority of the species's world population breeds, there are 11 islands that are each thought to be inhabited by more than 10,000 breeding pairs (Oka 2004). A recent survey on the island of Nakanokamishima estimated the population at 5,566 individuals and 2,783 nests (Yamamoto et al. 2015). According to islanders, the species appears to have been declining rapidly on Mikura-jima, but quantitative data are not available (S. Uematsu in litt. 2012). The prevalence of threats from introduced predators suggests that the species is in overall decline; however, further data are required from throughout the species's range to assess the current population trend.

Population justification
Brooke (2004) estimated the global population to number c. 3,000,000 individuals, while national population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c. 50-1,000 individuals on migration and c. 50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; c. 100,000-1,000,000 breeding pairs, c. 10,000 individuals on migration and c. 10,000 individuals on migration and c. 50-1,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c. 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c. 1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline, owing primarily to predation by introduced mammals (S. Uematsu in litt. 2012); however, the rate of decline has not been quantified.

This marine species can be found over both pelagic and inshore waters. It feeds mainly on fish and squid which it catches by surface-seizing and shallow plunges. It often associates with other seabirds and will follow fishing boats. Breeding begins in March in colonies on offshore islands, occupying burrows on forested hills. It undergoes transequatorial migration (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Some level of negative impact from introduced rats Rattus species can be expected on at least three of the Japanese islands occupied by the species (M. Sato in litt. 2011). It appears to suffer significant impacts from rats on Mikura-jima, which is populated by c. 300 people and is popular with tourists, thus making an eradication programme problematic and the subsequent reintroduction of rats more likely (Oka et al. 2002, J. Croxall in litt. 2011). Feral cats may also be inflicting increasing mortality on the Mikura-jima population, through predation on chicks, young birds and adults (N. Oka per M. Sato in litt. 2012, S. Uematsu in litt. 2012). Both Black Rats Rattus rattus and Brown Rats R. norvegicus are potentially affecting a colony of c. 150,000 individuals breeding on Okino-shima Island (M. Takeishi per M. Sato in litt. 2011). On Sasudo, South Korea, the species is threatened mainly by predation by R. norvegicus (Lee 2010). Rats, cats and human disturbance may threaten the species on Socheong Island (Birds Korea 2010). In addition to these threats, the species is also susceptible to fisheries bycatch (Birds Korea 2010, J. Croxall in litt. 2011). Global climate change may be affecting the distances travelled to feeding sites, potentially impacting whole colonies, but further research is required (S. Uematsu in litt. 2012). Research suggests the Fukushima nuclear accident may have had negative impacts on birds breeding on Mikura Island, with reduced vitamin A levels detected in chicks (Uematsu et al. 2014). The researchers suggest that additional negative impacts may be expected in the population in the future.

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
On Mikura-jima, some management actions have been carried out to control cats (both feral and domestic); these have included neutering and subsequent release; generally, cats are not destroyed because of concerns over the potential public reaction (N. Oka per M. Sato in litt. 2012).

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Monitor population trends at selected breeding sites throughout its range. Quantify the impacts of introduced predators on all affected breeding islands, and study the potential impact of fisheries bycatch. Implement robust control measures and strengthen existing management actions to alleviate, and if possible eliminate, the threat of introduced predators on all affected breeding islands. Carry out awareness-raising activities on breeding islands to reduce the impacts of human disturbance and introduced mammals.

Birds Korea. 2010. The Birds Korea blueprint 2010 for the conservation of the avian biodiversity of the South Korean part of the Yellow Sea. Birds Korea, Seoul.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

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.

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

Lee K.-G. 2010. The status of seabirds on Sasu and Chilbal islands, and the management of invasive species. The Birds Korea Blueprint 2010 for the conservation of the avian biodiversity of the South Korean part of the Yellow Sea, Birds Korea, Busan.

Oka, N. 2004. The distribution of Streaked Shearwater colonies, with special attention to population size, area of sea where located and surface water temperature. Journal of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology 35: 164-188.

Oka, N.; Suginome, H.; Jida, N.; Maruyama, N. 2002. Chick growth and fledgling performance of streaked shearwaters Calonectris leucomelas on Mikura Island for two breeding seasons. Journal of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology 34: 39-59.

Uematsu, S., Uematsu, K., Lavers, J.L. and Congdon, B.C. 2014. Reduced vitamin A (retinol) levels indicate radionuclide exposure in Streaked Shearwaters (Calonectris leucomelas) following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. Ecological Indicators 43: 244-251.

Yamamoto, T., Kohno, H., Mizutani, A. and Yoda, K. 2015. Nest Structure and Breeding Population Estimation of Streaked Shearwaters Calonectris leucomelas on Nakanokamishima. Journal of the Yamashima Institute of Ornithology 46(2): 67-81.

Further web sources of information
Additional information is available on the distribution of the Streaked Shearwater from the Global Procellariiform Tracking Database (

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
Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Newton, P., Taylor, J., Symes, A. & Ashpole, J

Croxall, J., Oka, N., Sato, M., Takeishi, M., Uematsu, S., Bourne, W. & Lavers, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Calonectris leucomelas. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 Near Threatened
Family Procellariidae (Petrels, Shearwaters)
Species name author (Temminck, 1835)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 32,400,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species