WatchList Species Account
for Black-capped Petrel
the list as a Red List Species
|Photo: Glen Tepke
With an estimated population at less than
2,000 individuals, the Black-capped Petrel breeds only in
the West Indies. Its only significant breeding population
is in southeastern Haiti (Massif de la Selle and Massif de
la Hotte) but a few pairs breed in the mountains of the Dominican
Republic (Sierra de Baoruco) and possibly on Dominica, where
it has been seen both off the coast and inland. The sites
in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are in national parks.
Breeding has been suspected but not confirmed for Cuba. The
bird was once common on Guadaloupe but was extirpated there
in the 19th Century; it apparently also existed on Martinique.
Primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, it
nests in burrows or crevices in cliffs in montane forest at
an elevation of 1,500-2,300 m, calling actively while approaching
the nest. It ranges large distances between foraging and nesting
sites, and breeding-condition birds have been recorded off
the coast of North Carolina. During nonbreeding it also is
found throughout the Gulf of Mexico, off southeastern North
America and northeastern South America.
Habitat destruction through continued deforestation,
hunting the bird for food at its breeding sites, and introduced
mammalian predators are the main threats to its existence.