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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The Fairy Prion is found throughout oceans and coastal areas in the Southern Hemisphere. Their colonies can be found, amongst other places, on the Chatham Islands, Snares Islands and Antipodes Islands of New Zealand, the Bass Strait Islands of Australia, the Crozet Islands (French Southern Territories) in the south Indian Ocean and the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia (Georgia del Sur) in the south Atlantic (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
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circum-antarctic
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Range

Breeds scattered subtropical and subantarctic islands.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This marine species apparently occurs mainly offshore, but may move inshore during stormy weather. Its diet is comprised mostly of crustaceans (especially krill), but occaisionally includes some fish and squid. It feeds mainly by surface-seizing and dipping, but can also catch prey by surface-plunging or pattering. It often assocaites with other prions and storm-petrels when feeding around boats. The breeding season starts in September and the species is highly colonial, creating burrows in coastal sites on oceanic islands (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 58 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 53 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): -0.295 - 12.623
  Nitrate (umol/L): 8.743 - 27.565
  Salinity (PPS): 33.743 - 34.829
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.038 - 7.927
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.765 - 1.889
  Silicate (umol/l): 4.273 - 46.619

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): -0.295 - 12.623

Nitrate (umol/L): 8.743 - 27.565

Salinity (PPS): 33.743 - 34.829

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.038 - 7.927

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.765 - 1.889

Silicate (umol/l): 4.273 - 46.619
 
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Breeding Category

Vagrant
  • Woehler E.J. (compiler) 2006. Species list prepared for SCAR/IUCN/BirdLife International Workshop on Antarctic Regional Seabird Populations, March 2005, Cambridge, UK.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pachyptila turtur

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
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). The population trend appears to be stable, 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.
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Population

Population
Brooke (2004) estimated the global population to number around 5,000,000 individuals.

Population Trend
Stable
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

IUCN Red List Category

Least Concern
  • Woehler E.J. (compiler) 2006. Species list prepared for SCAR/IUCN/BirdLife International Workshop on Antarctic Regional Seabird Populations, March 2005, Cambridge, UK.
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Wikipedia

Fairy Prion

The fairy prion (Pachyptila turtur) is a small seabird with the standard prion plumage of black upperparts and white underneath with an "M" wing marking.

Taxonomy[edit]

The fairy 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 Albatross are on the sides of the bill. The bills of Procellariiformes are also unique in that they are split into between 7 and 9 horny plates. They produce a stomach oil made up of wax esters and triglycerides that is stored in the proventriculus. This is used against predators as well 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]

Etymology[edit]

Pachyptila, the word, comes from the Greek words pakhus and ptilon. Pakhus means thick or stout and ptilon means a feather. Also from the Greek language, prion comes from the word priōn meaning a saw, which is in reference to its serrated edges of its bill.[5]

Description[edit]

Fairy prion flight.JPG

The fairy prion is the smallest prion and it measures between 23–28 cm (9.1–11.0 in) long.[2] Its plumage is blue-grey on its upperparts, and white underneath. They have a dark "M" on their upperparts extending to their wingtips, and their tail is wedge-shaped with a dark tip. They have a blue bill and feet.[6]

Behaviour[edit]

Feeding[edit]

The diet consists mainly of planktonic crustaceans and other tiny sea animals, which they feed at night from the water's surface.[7]

Breeding[edit]

They breed colonially and prefer small islands. The nest is situated in soil, hidden by vegetation and is dug with the bill or feet, or it is in a hollow in a crevice. When coming back to their nest at night, they will coo softly and listen for their mate.[7]

Range and habitat[edit]

The fairy prion is found throughout oceans and coastal areas in the Southern Hemisphere.[7] Their colonies can be found on Chatham, Snares and Antipodes Islands of New Zealand, Bass Strait Islands of Australia, Falkland Islands, Marion Island, the Crozet Islands and Macquarie Island.[citation needed]

Conservation[edit]

Widespread and common throughout its large range, with an estimated population of 5,000,000, the fairy prion is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Its range is 24,600,000 km2 (9,500,000 sq mi).[1][8]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Pachyptila turtur". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Maynard, B. J. (2003)
  3. ^ Double, M. C. (2003)
  4. ^ Ehrlich, Paul R. (1988)
  5. ^ Gotch, A. T. (1995)
  6. ^ ZipCode Zoo (19 Jun 2009)
  7. ^ a b c Harrison, C. & Greensmith, A. (1993)
  8. ^ BirdLife International (2009)

References[edit]

  • Double, M. C. (2003). "Procellariiformes (Tubenosed Seabirds)". In Hutchins, Michael; Jackson, Jerome A.; Bock, Walter J. et al. 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. 
  • Harrison, C.; Greensmith, A. (1993). Bunting, E., ed. Birds of the World. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley. p. 51. ISBN 1-56458-295-7. 
  • Maynard, B. J. (2003). "Shearwaters, petrels, and fulmars (Procellariidae)". In Hutchins, Michael; Jackson, Jerome A.; Bock, Walter J. et al. 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). "Pachyptila turtur (Fairy Prion)". BayScience Foundation. Retrieved 22 Jul 2009. 
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