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Fork-tailed Storm-petrel Hydrobates furcatus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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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 increasing, 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)
Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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.

Taxonomic note
Hydrobates furcatus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Oceanodroma as O. furcata.

Oceanodroma furcata (Gmelin, 1789)

Distribution and population
This species is found throughout the North Pacific, with sites ranging from the Californian coast (USA) in the east, the Alaskan coast in the north and the Kuril Islands (Russia) in the west. Outside the breeding season it disperses over adjacent waters.

Population justification
Brooke (2004) estimated the global population to number > c.6,000,000 individuals, while national population sizes have been estimated at c.50-1,000 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 increasing as several islands have been recolonised following the eradication of introduced predators.

The Fork-tailed Storm-petrel breeds on offshore islands in grassy areas, on rocky hillsides or amongst trees - sometimes far from sea (del Hoyo et al. 1992). It generally forages on continental shelves (Crossin 1974, Harris 1974), foraging closer to the shore whilst breeding (Boersma et al. 1980). Despite foraging in nearshore areas, chicks frequently go unfed for several nights (Boersma et al. 1980). Its diet comprises mainly of planktonic crustaceans, small fish and squid, and it can feed on the wing or by surface-seizing (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Boersma, P.D., Nerini, M.K. and Wheelwright, E.S. 1980. The breeding biology of the fork-tailed storm-petrel (Oceanodroma furcata). Auk 97: 268-282.

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.

Crossin, R.S. 1974. The storm-petrels (Hydrobatidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 158: 154-205.

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

Harris, M. P. 1974. A complete census of the Flightless Cormorant (Nannopterum harrisi). Biological Conservation 6: 188-191.

Further web sources of information
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., Calvert, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Hydrobates furcatus. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 Hydrobatidae (Northern Storm-petrels)
Species name author (Gmelin, 1789)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,300,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species