Pink-footed Shearwater
(Ardenna creatopus)


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

Pink-footed Shearwaters do not breed in Canada but are regularly seen over Canadian Pacific continental shelf waters, primarily from May through October (Kenyon et al. 2009). This shearwater is known to nest on only three islands off the coast of Chile. Their at-sea range extends as far north as the Gulf of Alaska and occasionally the southern Bering Sea (Wahl et al. 1989). The Pink-footed Shearwater may be British Columbia’s second most numerous shearwater species (Guzman and Myres 1983), with a large proportion of the world population travelling through and foraging in Canadian waters. However, monitoring data are not sufficient to determine a change in population status in Canada relative to 1970. The species was first assessed as Threatened in 2004, but was re-assessed as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 2016, primarily due to the risk of fisheries bycatch (COSEWIC 2016c). The Pink-footed Shearwater was listed as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act in 2005; and in 2018, it was proposed that Schedule 1 of the Act should be amended to reclassify the species as Endangered (Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 152, Number 52). 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
COSEWIC (Canada)Endangered2016 
SARA (Canada)Threatened2005 
IUCN (Global)Vulnerable2018 
Partners in Flight (North America)Watch list - red2017 
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 DeficientBelow Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada10,000 - 25,000 birds occurring seasonally

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Seasonal visitor

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

Conservation and management

The greatest threat to this species’ continued occurrence in Canada is their high vulnerability to incidental fisheries mortality, plastic ingestion, and oil pollution (COSEWIC 2016c). Fisheries interactions (in Canada and throughout their range) are probable due to both high overlap of preferred foraging habitat and the species’ natural affinity to investigate vessels. Their Canadian range overlaps with areas potentially affected by oil drilling and development, as well as transport of petroleum products (COSEWIC 2016c). Terrestrial threats at breeding colonies in Chile include introduced predators, human disturbance, exploitation (particularly chick harvesting), and habitat destruction (COSEWIC 2016c).


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