Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Puffinus bryani is currently only known from individuals found in burrows on Midway Island in the north-western Hawaiian chain, USA, and in the Bonin Islands (Ogasawara Islands), Japan. The species was described from an individual collected in 1963 on Midway Island, with another individual probably of this species observed on Midway in 1991-1992, but is considered unlikely to be regularly breeding in the Hawaiian chain as the seabird colonies have been studied in detail (Pyle et al. 2011). Subsequent analysis of specimens from the Bonin Islands suggests that its main breeding range is within that group, although much exploration is still to be done (Kawakami et al. 2012). Five of the six individuals recorded on the Bonin Islands have been corpses, three of which had been predated by Black Rats (Rattus rattus) (Fjeldså, 2013). The at-sea distribution is effectively unknown, although at a minimum it occurs in the tropical or subtropical waters of the central western Pacific Ocean between the north-western Hawaiian chain and the Bonin Islands. Its apparent rarity suggests that the population is extremely small.
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Range

Range poorly known; discovered on Midway Island (Hawaii), but probably breeds Bonin Islands (Japan).
  • 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
Very little is known about this species. It is likely to breed during the northern winter, as the specimens found so far on land and in burrows have been in the period December to February (Fjeldså 2013). To date, it has only been found on small islands.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
C2a(i,ii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S.

Contributor/s

Justification
This recently described species is listed as Critically Endangered because it is thought to have an extremely small population, which is inferred to be declining as a result of predation by introduced mammals.
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Population

Population
The species's population size has not been quantified, but given its apparent rarity it is thought to have an extremely small population, probably numbering fewer than 250 mature individuals. The population is therefore placed in the band for 50-249 mature individuals, assumed to equate to a total population of c.70-380 individuals.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Introduced rats (Rattus spp.) have been identified as the predators of at least three individuals on Higashijima Island, north of Chichijima, which would appear to be a likely breeding location in the absence of predators (Fjeldså 2013). Predation of smaller seabirds by rats on the Bonin Islands dramatically increased in 2005, attributed to a shift in the foraging behaviour of the rats (Kawakami et al. 2012). The Ministry of Environment responded to the mass depredation of small petrels by initiating a rat eradication program on Higashijima in 2008, which has apparently been successful, with no rats observed since 2010 (Kawakami et al. 2012). Rats are absent from Kitanoshima Island, but are still present on at least 20 islands in the Bonin group (Kawakami et al. 2012). Eradication of rats from these islands would be necessary for these islands to be suitable breeding locations for the species (Kawakami et al. 2012, Fjeldså 2013). Two of the six specimens located in the Bonin Islands were picked up after apparent disorientation due to artificial lighting, noted as a significant cause of mortality in P. newelli (Mitchell et al. 2005). Currently there is an on-going eradication programme as detailed for each island in the Ogawasara Islands Ecosystem Conservation Action Plan (Anon. 2010).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
Rats have already been eradicated on Higashijima Island, following a program of poisoned bait application between 2008 and 2010 (Kawakami et al. 2012). Currently there is an on-going eradication programme, as detailed for each island in the Ogawasara Islands Ecosystem Conservation Action Plan (Anon. 2010). Confirmation of a breeding population is still necessary, and a careful investigation of known seabird colonies in the subtropical/tropical western Pacific with small shearwaters may reveal additional records.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey seabird colonies on Higashijima and Kitanoshima to confirm breeding of this species. Examine other known seabird colonies in the subtropical west Pacific (northern Marianas in particular) for evidence of this species. Ensure Higashijima is free of rats. Eradicate rats, goats and pigs from all small islands in the Bonin group.
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Wikipedia

Bryan's shearwater

The Bryan's shearwater (Puffinus bryani) is a species of shearwater that may occur around the Hawaiian Islands. It is the smallest species of shearwater and is black and white with a bluish gray beak and blue tarsi. First collected in 1963 and thought to be a little shearwater (Puffinus assimilis) it was determined using DNA analysis to be distinct in 2011. It is rare and possibly threatened and there is little information on its breeding or non-breeding ranges. It is named after Edwin Horace Bryan Jr. a former curator of the B. P. Bishop Museum at Honolulu.[1]

On February 7, 2012, the DNA tests on six specimens found in Ogasawara alive and dead between 1997 and 2011 determined that they were Bryan's shearwaters.[2][3] It is assumed that Bryan's shearwaters still survive in the uninhabited islands.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Pyle, Andreanna J. Welch and Robert C Fleischer (2011) A new species of Shearwater (puffinus) recorded from Midway Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The Condor.
  2. ^ 絶滅したと思われていたミズナギドリの希少種を小笠原諸島で再発見 (PDF) (in Japanese). Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ "PSG 2012 Hawaii Abstract" (PDF). Pacific Seabird Group. p. 37. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
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