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Puffinus auricularis has a disjunct range, with two subspecies occurring in different parts of the Pacific Ocean and associated breeding islands. Some authorities recognize these two subspecies as separate species based on their range differences and some morphological and ecological differences.

Townsend's shearwaters (Puffinus auricularis townsendi) are found on breeding colonies in the Revillagigedo Islands, off the west coast of Mexico. They were previously known to breed on 3 islands: Clarion, San Benedicto, and Socorro, but are now only found breeding on Socorro Island. When not at breeding colonies they are found over oceanic waters over the continental shelf off the western coast of Mexico and Central America.

Newell's shearwaters (Puffinus auricularis newelli) are found in breeding colonies on the Hawaiian Islands. They once bred on islands throughout the Hawaiian archipelago, but are now found on Moloka'i, Kaua'i, and Hawai'i and possibly O'ahu, Maui, Lana'i, and Lehua Islet. When not at breeding colonies they are found over deep, tropical oceanic waters south and west of the Hawaiian Islands.

Biogeographic Regions: oceanic islands (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )


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Source: Animal Diversity Web


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