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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The Antarctic Prion breeds on islands in the southern oceans, including the the Crozet Islands and Kerguelen Island (French Southern Territories), Macquarie Island and Heard Island (Australia), the Auckland Islands (New Zealand), South Georgia (Georgias del Sur), the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Sandwich del Sur), Scott Island and the Scotia Archipelago. All birds leave the colonies after breeding, dispersing from pack ice in Antartica to as far north as Peru, and also occuring off South Africa and Australia1.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species breeds on slopes under grass tussocks, in rock crevices or scree, or on cliffs. Its prey is mostly crustaceans (especially krill, copepods and amphipods), but also small quantities of fish and squid (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pachyptila desolata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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.
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Population

Population
Brooke (2004) estimated the global population to number around 50,000,000 individuals.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Wikipedia

Antarctic prion

The Antarctic prion (Pachyptila desolata) also known as the dove prion, or totorore in Maori, is the largest of the prions,[citation needed] a genus of small petrels of the Southern Ocean.

Taxonomy[edit]

The Antarctic prion is a member of the Pachyptila genus, and along with the blue petrel makes up the prions. They in turn are members of the Procellariidae family, and the Procellariiformes order. The prions are small and typically eat just zooplankton;[2] however as a member of the Procellariiformes, they share certain identifying features. First, they have nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called naricorns. Although the nostrils on the prion are on top of the upper bill. The bills of Procellariiformes are also unique in that they are split into between seven and nine horny plates. They produce a stomach oil made up of wax esters and triglycerides that is stored in the proventriculus. This can be sprayed out of their mouths as a defence against predators and as an energy rich food source for chicks and for the adults during their long flights.[3] Finally, they also have a salt gland that is situated above the nasal passage and helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a high saline solution from their nose.[4]

Subspecies[edit]

The Antarctic prion has three subspecies.

Etymology[edit]

Pachyptila, the word, comes from the Greek words pakhus and ptilon. Pakhus means "thick" or "stout" and ptilon means "a feather". Desolatus is Latin for "forsaken" or "desolate". This is in reference to the desolate Antarctic region where they live. Also from the Greek language, prion comes from the word priōn meaning "a saw", in reference to the serrated edges of its bill.[6]

Description[edit]

The wingspan is 17 to 20 cm (6.7 to 7.9 in),[7] while the body length is 28 cm (11 in).[6] Like all prions, its underparts are white and upperparts are blue-grey, with a dark "M" across its back to its wingtips. It has a white eyebrow, blue-grey bill, and blue feet. It also has a grey wedge-shaped tail with a black tip. On its wings, its greater coverts are near black.[8]

Behaviour[edit]

Feeding[edit]

Like all prions, the Antarctic prion eats primarily zooplankton, which it obtains by filtering water through its upper bill.[2]

Breeding[edit]

The Antarctic prion nests in colonies, and prefers islands in the Southern ocean. Both sexes assist in building the nest, as well as incubating the single egg and raising the chick.[2]

Range and habitat[edit]

It breeds in colonies on the Auckland Islands, Heard Island, Macquarie Island, Scott Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, Crozet Islands, and the Kerguelen Islands.[citation needed] When not breeding, it ranges throughout the southern oceans.

Conservation[edit]

The Antarctic prion has an occurrence range of 76,600,000 km2 (29,600,000 sq mi) and an estimated adult bird population of 50 million.[1][9]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Pachyptila desolata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Maynard, B. J. (2003)
  3. ^ Double, M. C. (2003)
  4. ^ Ehrlich, Paul R. (1988)
  5. ^ a b c Clements, James (2007)
  6. ^ a b Gotch, A. T. (1995)
  7. ^ "Antarctic prion". antarctica.gov.au. Retrieved, 8 June 2011
  8. ^ ZipCode Zoo (19 Jun 2009)
  9. ^ BirdLife International (2009)

References[edit]

  • BirdLife International (2009). "Antarctic Prion - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 17 Jul 2009. 
  • Clements, James (2007). The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World (6 ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9. 
  • Double, M. C. (2003). "Procellariiformes (Tubenosed Seabirds)". In Hutchins, Michael; Jackson, Jerome A.; Bock, Walter J.; Olendorf, Donna. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8, Birds I: Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins. Joseph E. Trumpey, Chief Scientific Illustrator (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. pp. 107–111. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0. 
  • Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dobkin, David, S.; Wheye, Darryl (1988). The Birders Handbook (First ed.). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. pp. 29–31. ISBN 0-671-65989-8. 
  • Gotch, A. F. (1995) [1979]. "Albatrosses, Fulmars, Shearwaters, and Petrels". Latin Names Explained A Guide to the Scientific Classifications of Reptiles, Birds & Mammals. New York, NY: Facts on File. p. 192. ISBN 0-8160-3377-3. 
  • Maynard, B. J. (2003). "Shearwaters, petrels, and fulmars (Procellariidae)". In Hutchins, Michael; Jackson, Jerome A.; Bock, Walter J.; Olendorf, Donna. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8, Birds I: Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins. Joseph E. Trumpey, Chief Scientific Illustrator (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. pp. 123–133. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0. 
  • ZipCode Zoo (19 Jun 2009). "Halobaena (Genus)". BayScience Foundation. Retrieved 22 Jul 2009. 
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