Flesh-footed Shearwater
(Ardenna carneipes)


Picture of bird
© Lee Gilbert - License
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

Flesh-footed Shearwaters nest only on islands in the southern Indian Ocean and the southwest Pacific Ocean. Their at-sea distribution is poorly known, but is believed to range widely across the western Pacific Ocean to the Aleutian Islands, with small numbers off the west coast of North America from late April through November (Wahl et al. 2005, Howell 2012). Very small numbers of Flesh-footed Shearwaters have been observed off the coast of British Columbia, all between May and early October. Data are not sufficient to determine a change in the population status in Canada relative to about 1970. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Near threatened2018 
Partners in Flight (North America)Watch list - yellow R2017 
Wild Species (Canada)Vulnerable2015 
State of North America’s BirdsWatch list2016 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaData DeficientData DeficientData Deficient

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada< 100 birds occurring seasonally

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Seasonal visitor

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaVery Low

Conservation and management

Flesh-footed Shearwaters are at risk from fisheries-induced mortality throughout their marine distribution. In waters off the east coast of Australia, it was estimated that longline fisheries kill 1,800-4,500 annually, threatening the persistence of some populations (Baker and Wise 2005). Bycatch of Flesh-footed Shearwaters in New Zealand waters was considered to be lower (Taylor 2000). It has been suggested that the species is vulnerable to longline fisheries in the North Pacific during the non-breeding season (Baker and Wise 2005). Loss of nesting habitat at Lord Howe Island off the coast of Australia has resulted in a reduction in the breeding population (Priddel et al. 2006). In addition, road-based mortality of adults on Lord Howe is likely reducing adult survival, and there is evidence to suggest that breeding success is being negatively impacted by marine debris and plastics ingestion (Reid et al. 2013, Lavers et al. 2014).


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
Northern Pacific RainforestNorthern Pacific Rainforest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Other