email a friend
printable version
Matsudaira's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma matsudairae


This species is only known to breed on the Volcano Islands, Japan, but it is likely to breed on other islands. Its total distribution, population size, trends and threats are unknown. For these reasons it is classified as Data Deficient.

Taxonomic source(s)
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.
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Hydrobates matsudairae Christidis and Boles (2008), Hydrobates matsudairae matsudairae Christidis and Boles (2008)

Distribution and population
Oceanodroma matsudairae is only known to breed on the Volcano Islands (=Kazan Retto), southern Japan. It breeds at least on Minami-iwo-jima, and perhaps formerly on Kita-iwo-jima (Chiba et al. 2007). It has also been recorded around the Ogasawara Islands and is assumed by some to breed there (Brazil 1991, 2009), but this requires confirmation. After the breeding season, it is thought to move south across the equator, perhaps to the Timor Sea off north-west Australia, and then west into the Indian Ocean, where it winters mostly in the equatorial belt around the Seychelles and west to Somalia and Kenya. Some birds may winter off north-east New Guinea. No quantitative data are available on its population, although it is reported to be locally common in its breeding range, and its abundance in the Indian Ocean has led to the suggestion that the global population numbers a minimum of 20,000 individuals (Brooke 2004).

Population justification
It is described as not especially rare in the Indian Ocean, perhaps suggesting that the global population numbers a minimum of 20,000 individuals (Brooke 2004), thus the number of mature individuals is preliminarily estimated at c.20,000.

Trend justification
The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the main threats to the species.

It is colonial, nesting in burrows on high ground (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Breeding is thought to begin in January, with most fledging taking place in June (del Hoyo et al. 1992). In the non-breeding season it is generally pelagic, occurring far from the coast (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

The is considerable uncertainty over current potential threats to this species. Its apparent absence from Kita-iwo-jima since World War II could be due to egg predation by black rats Rattus rattus, which are likely to have been introduced before the war (Sato 2001 in Chiba et al. 2007). In contrast, no rats have been detected on Minami-iwo-jima (Tsukamoto 1983 in Chiba et al. 2007). The main island in the Volcano group, Iwo-jima, is uninhabited apart from the presence of military personnel, and it is unclear whether military activities pose potential threats to the species on Minami-iwo-jima, and perhaps Kita-iwo-jima, either through disturbance or the accidental introduction of alien predators. Given the inaccessibility of its nesting colonies, human activities are unlikely to pose a direct threat.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Census and monitor known colonies. Study its ecological requirements. Carry out research into potential threats. Search for further breeding colonies on Japanese offshore islands.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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

Brazil, M. A. 1991. The birds of Japan. Chistopher Helm, London.

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

Chiba, H., Kawakami, K., Suzuki, H. and Horikoshi, K. 2007. The distribution of seabirds in the Bonin Islands, southern Japan. J. Yamashina Inst. Ornithol. 39: 1-17.

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

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Crosby, M., Peet, N., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Bakewell, D., Bourne, W.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Oceanodroma matsudairae. Downloaded from on 17/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 17/04/2014.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Data Deficient
Family Hydrobatidae (Storm-petrels)
Species name author Kuroda, 1922
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 8 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species