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Wilson's Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus

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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: _the_WP15.xls.
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Brooke, M. De L. 2004. Albatrosses and petrels across the world. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 1994. The taxonomy and species of birds of Australia and its territories. Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, Melbourne.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at:
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Distribution and population
The breeding range of Wilson's Storm-petrel includes subantarctic islands from Cape Horn (Chile) east to the Kerguelen Islands (French Southern Territories), and also includes coastal Antarctica. It undergoes trans-equatorial migration, spending the off-season in the middle latitudes of the north Atlantic and north Indian Ocean. A lower number of individuals also migrate to the Pacific.

Population justification
Brooke (2004) estimated the global breeding population to number 4,000,000-10,000,000 breeding pairs, equating to 12,000,000-30,000,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Wilson's Storm-petrel breeds on rocky islets, on cliffs and amongst boulder scree. It prefers to feed mainly in cold waters over continental shelves or inshore, with a diet of comprised mainly of planktonic crustaceans (especially krill) and fish (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Its diet shifts from mainly crustaceans during egg formation to an increased proportion of fish during chick-rearing and moulting (Quillfeldt et al. 2005).

Barbraud, C.; Weimerskirch, H. 2006. Antarctic birds breed later in response to climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103(16): 6248-6251.

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.

Quillfeldt, P., McGill, R. A. R., Furness R. W. 2005. Diet and foraging areas of Southern Ocean seabirds and their prey inferred from stable isotopes: review and case study of Wilson's storm-petrel. Marine Ecology Progress Series 295: 295-304.

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

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Oceanites oceanicus. Downloaded from on 24/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/04/2014.

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 - Wilson’s storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Hydrobatidae (Storm-petrels)
Species name author (Kuhl, 1820)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 28,500 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species