Leach's Storm-Petrel
(Oceanodroma leucorhoa)


Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

Leach's Storm-Petrels breed throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, returning to their island nest burrows at night. In winter, they remain widespread in both oceans, though tending to move south to more tropical waters far from any landmass. These behavioural traits make studying the species difficult and the species remains relatively unknown despite being numerous and widespread. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least Concern2012 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2010 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaData DeficientData Deficient

Population estimate

Canada> 10,000,000 breeding birds

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population


Conservation and management

Entire colonies of Leach's Storm Petrel have been extirpated from their breeding islands by introduced mammalian predators (Huntington et al. 1996) and monitoring important colonies for introduced mammals is a priority for this species. Gull predation appears to be a significant factor in the declines observed in Witless Bay (S. Wilhelm, Environment Canada, unpublished data), while an irruptive meadow vole population on Country Island appears to be negatively impacting this colony (Environment Canada, unpublished data). Research is on-going to determine the extent to which the population is affected by contaminants and predation by gulls (Robertson et al. 2006). Despite its large population, the lack of monitoring information for this species means that large changes in the population could go unnoticed.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region
Gulf of St. LawrenceGulf of St. Lawrence, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Nova Scotia
Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves , sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Newfoundland and Labrador
Northern Pacific RainforestNorthern Pacific Rainforest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon Region
Scotian ShelfScotian Shelf, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - New Brunswick
Scotian ShelfScotian Shelf, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Nova Scotia