Overview

Distribution

circum-antarctic
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Range Description

This species breeds on Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha (St Helena to UK) in the south Atlantic, and on the Chatham Islands, New Zealand and south of New Zealand's south island. Adults are thought to remain in waters adjacent to colonies; however young birds occur north of the colonies to Australia and South Africa1.

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Range

Breeds islands off New Zealand and Tristan da Cunha group.
  • 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
The diet of this species is comprised mostly of cruaceans (especially copepods), squid and some fish. It apparently takes more crustaceans in summer and small squid in winter. Prey is obtained usually by hydroplaning and by filtering or surface-seizing. Breeding starts in July or August and individuals are strongly colonial, nesting in burrows which are sometimes occupied by more than one pair. It breeds on a large variety of substrates and areas; coastal slopes, flat lava fields, offshore islets and cliffs, dry rocky soil, caves and scree (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 260 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 250 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): -1.176 - 16.532
  Nitrate (umol/L): 2.487 - 28.262
  Salinity (PPS): 33.672 - 35.307
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.761 - 8.084
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.336 - 1.997
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.479 - 78.771

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): -1.176 - 16.532

Nitrate (umol/L): 2.487 - 28.262

Salinity (PPS): 33.672 - 35.307

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.761 - 8.084

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.336 - 1.997

Silicate (umol/l): 1.479 - 78.771
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Breeding Category

Vagran
  • 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 vittata

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 exceed 15,000,000 individuals.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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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

Broad-billed prion

The broad-billed prion (Pachyptila vittata) is a small seabird, but the largest prion, with grey upperparts plumage, and white underparts. It has many other names that have been used such as blue-billed dove-petrel, broad-billed dove-petrel, long-billed prion, common prion, icebird, and whalebird.[2]

Taxonomy[edit]

The broad-billed 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]

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]

The broad-billed prion has traditional prion colours: blue-grey upperparts, white underparts, and the ever present "M" across its back and wings. It also has a black crown, a dark eye stripe, and a black-tipped tail. Its bill is also black.[6] The head pattern is more distinct and the tail band is less extensive than that of the similar fairy prion. It has a broad flat bill with comb-like fringes called lamellae.[citation needed] This is a large prion measuring 25 to 30 cm (9.8 to 11.8 in) long, with a wingspan of 57 to 66 cm (22 to 26 in) and weighing on average 160 to 235 g (5.6 to 8.3 oz).[2]

Behaviour[edit]

They are social birds; however their courtship displays happen at night or in their burrows. When they need to defend their nests they are very aggressive with calling, posturing, and neck-biting.[2]

Feeding[edit]

They are gregarious, and eat crustaceans (copepods), squid, and fish. They utilize a technique called hydroplaning, where the bird flies with its bill in the water, skimming water in, and then filtering the food. They also surface-seize. This prion doesn't follow fishing boats regularly.[2]

Breeding[edit]

Breeding begins on the coastal slopes, lava fields, or cliffs of the breeding islands in July or August, as they lay their single egg in a burrow type nest. Both parents incubate the egg for 50 days, and then spend another 50 days raising the chick.[2] The main predators are skuas, although on some islands, cats and rats have reduced this prion’s numbers drastically. Colonies disperse from December onwards, although some adults remain in the vicinity of the breeding islands and may visit their burrows in winter.[citation needed]

Range and habitat[edit]

This species is found throughout oceans and coastal areas in the Southern Hemisphere. Its colonies can be found on Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha, South Island, Chatham Islands, on the subantarctic Antipodes Islands, and other islands off the coast of New Zealand.[2][7]

Conservation[edit]

This prion has an occurrence range of 10,500,000 km2 (4,100,000 sq mi) and an estimated population of 15 million. It is categorised as least concern by the IUCN.[1][8]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Pachyptila vittata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g 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. ^ Clements, James (2007)
  8. ^ BirdLife International (2009)

References[edit]

  • Harrison, P. (1991) [1983]. Seabirds: an identification guide (2 ed.). Beckenham, U.K.: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-3510-X. 
  • BirdLife International (2009). "Broad-billed Prion Pachyptila vittata - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 23 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. 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. 
  • 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 vittata (Broad-Billed Prion)". BayScience Foundation. Retrieved 23 Jul 2009. 
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