email a friend
printable version
Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

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

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

Ardenna tenuirostris Christidis and Boles (2008), Puffinus tenuirostris (Temminck, 1835)

Distribution and population
This species breeds on Tasmania and off the coast of south Australia, with the bulk of the population in the south-east. It undergoes transequatorial migration, wintering north of Japan near the Aleutian Islands (USA), with some moving north of the Bering Strait. The return migration route incorporates the central Pacific, with some moving down the western coast of North America.

Population justification
Brooke (2004) estimated the global population to number > c.23,000,000 individuals, while national population estimates include: < c.1,000 individuals on migration in Taiwan; >c.1,000 individuals on migration in Japan and >c.1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
Although the population trend is increasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007), the global population is suspected to be in decline owing to ecosystem changes resulting from climate change (Brooke 2004).

Breeding occurs mainly on coastal islands, typically in areas of grassland or other vegetation, but sometimes cliffs or bare ground (del Hoyo et al. 1992). It conducts a bimodal feeding strategy whilst breeding, alternating short foraging trips to local waters with long foraging trips (up to 17 days) to the Polar Frontal Zone. Short trips allow greater chick provisioning at the sacrifice of body condition, which is then recovered in richer sub-Antarctic waters. Diet includes fish (particularly mycotphids), crustaceans and squid (Weimerskirch and Cherel 1998). Feeding occurs in flocks of up to 20,000 birds, and it has been seen associated with cetaceans. It is a trans-equatorial migrant, wintering off Aleutian Islands, some moving north of Bering Strait (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

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.

Weimerskirch H, Cherel Y. 1998. Feeding ecology of shorttailed shearwaters: breeding in Tasmania and foraging in Antarctica? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 167: 261-234.

Further web sources of information
Additional information is available on the distribution of the Short-tailed 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
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Newton, P., Calvert, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ardenna tenuirostris. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 Least Concern
Family Procellariidae (Petrels, Shearwaters)
Species name author (Temminck, 1835)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 113,000,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species