WatchList Species Account for Pink-footed Shearwater
(Puffinus creatopus)


Qualifies for the list as a Red List Species

 

Photo: Greg Lavaty

The Pink-footed Shearwater is a seabird of the eastern Pacific that breeds only on three islands off the coast of Chile. Two of the islands, Robinson Crusoe and Santa Clara, are in the Juan Fernández Islands and have several thousand pairs of the birds; the largest colony, 13,000 to 25,000 pairs, is on Isla Mocha, off the coast of Arauco. Robinson Crusoe and Santa Clara are part of a national park, and the colony on Mocha is within a national reserve. .

 

On Robinson Crusoe, this shearwater species nests in eroded habitat with sparse vegetation at an elevation of 490-984 feet, while on Isla Mocha it is found in forest, with highest burrow densities along mountain ridges and between the roots of old-growth trees. Pink-footed Shearwaters feed on fish, squid and crustaceans at sea over the continental shelf.

 

In the nonbreeding season (the northern hemisphere summer) this bird is found off western North America as far as the coast of southeastern Alaska.

 

Pink-footed Shearwaters are preyed on by rats on all three islands; predation by cats, dogs and coatis is a problem at some colonies, and soil erosion caused by goats and rabbits also affect the birds in the Juan Fernández Islands. Islanders on Isla Mocha harvest the chicks for food, though this practice is illegal.

 

The Pink-footed Shearwater would benefit greatly from the removal of all introduced mammals on its nesting islands, in addition to reducing harvesting of chicks and replanting native vegetation.