Scientific Name: Ardenna creatopus
Other/Previous Names: Puffinus creatopus
Taxonomy Group: Birds
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia, Pacific Ocean
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2016
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B2ab(iii,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This long-lived seabird nests on only three islands off the coast of Chile, where it has suffered significant declines due to nest predation by introduced predators, exploitation by humans and habitat degradation. It also experiences mortality due to incidental take by fisheries across its range, including important foraging areas off the coast of British Columbia. Bycatch risk from fisheries has increased over the last three generations. This species is also sensitive to offshore oil spills.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in May 2004. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in November 2016.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2005-07-14
Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.
Image of Pink-footed Shearwater
There is some uncertainty surrounding the classification of this species. The Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) is very closely related, but its plumage is entirely dark.
The Pink-footed Shearwater is a stocky seabird about the size of a medium gull. In flight individuals appear heavy, with laboured wingbeats alternating with glides. It is distinguished from other North Pacific shearwaters by a combination of greyish-brown plumage above, variably mottled pale grey underparts with white wing linings, and a dusky head. The plumage of adult and juvenile birds is alike and there are no seasonal differences, although males are larger than females on average. Its pinkish-yellow, dusky-tipped bill and pink legs and feet are distinctive. The Pink-footed Shearwater is a globally threatened species that is known to breed at only three sites worldwide. (Updated: 2018/01/19)
Distribution and Population
The Pink-footed Shearwater is known to breed on three islands off the coast of Chile: Mocha, Robinson Crusoe, and Santa Clara islands. At sea, the Pink-footed Shearwater primarily occupies waters of the continental slope, shelf-break, and shelf of the eastern Pacific. Its range extends from its breeding islands north along the coast of South and North America to the Gulf of Alaska and the southern Bering Sea, but only a few individuals occur north of Haida Gwaii. In Canada, the Pink-footed Shearwater occurs exclusively off the coast of British Columbia, with observations concentrated off the west coast of Vancouver Island, the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and in Queen Charlotte Sound. Numbers in Canada peak from June to October. The global population size of the Pink-footed Shearwater is estimated at 28,000 breeding pairs. At Mocha Island, the population is believed to have declined considerably over the 20th century due to illegal chick harvesting and introduced predators. A study at Mocha Island in the late 1990s estimated a substantial decline in the number of breeding pairs (~40%) from an estimate in the late 1980s, although methods differed between surveys. There is plausible evidence of decline on Robinson Crusoe Island within the past 55 years (3 generations) due to predation of adults and chicks by Coatimundis and feral cats. However, the Robinson Crusoe population is thought to have been stable over the past 15 years, and monitoring at Mocha Island since 2010 suggests a stable population over that time. Trends within the Canadian range of the species are unknown. (Updated: 2018/01/19)
Pink-footed Shearwaters nest in burrows that they excavate in the soil of their breeding colonies. On Mocha Island, burrows are located in dense native forest along the seaward sides of upper slopes and ridgetops, while on Robinson Crusoe and Santa Clara islands, nests are located in remnant native forests or open terrain with grassy vegetation or bare soils. In the marine environment, Pink-footed Shearwaters display a preference for biologically productive waters associated with the continental slope, shelf and shelf-break. (Updated: 2018/01/19)
Pink-footed Shearwaters breed during the austral spring and summer, with birds returning to their colonies from early to mid-October. They lay a single egg per year, with egg-laying occurring from late November to mid-December. Eggs hatch from late January to mid-February after a prolonged incubation period, and fledging primarily occurs in May. Both parents share in incubation. After chicks fledge, post-breeders migrate north to their wintering grounds off Peru and the Pacific coast of the US and Canada. (Updated: 2018/01/19)
Threats facing this species at its colonies include human exploitation and disturbance, predation, disturbance and competition from introduced mammals; and habitat loss and destruction, particularly via erosion compounded by vegetation loss. At sea, the species is threatened by interactions with fisheries, oil and other pollution, plastic ingestion, and likely by competition with humans for prey fish. (Updated: 2018/01/19)
The Pink-footed Shearwater is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) and Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
Pink-footed Shearwater and Short-tailed Albatross Recovery Team
Ken Morgan - Chair/Contact - Environment Canada
Phone: 250-363-6537 Send Email
Recovery Progress and Activities
Summary of Progress to DateA draft Recovery Strategy has been developed and a Recovery Team is being formed. Summary of Research/Monitoring ActivitiesThe Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) routinely conducts at sea Ship-of-Opportunity surveys (aboard Coast Guard vessels) to monitor abundance, distribution, and seasonality of pelagic seabirds off the west coast of Canada. These surveys have been, and continue to be, the only means of monitoring the Pink-footed Shearwater. The Ship-of-Opportunity data, spanning more than 18 years, are being analyzed and will be used to produce an atlas of the seasonal distribution of all pelagic seabirds off Canada’s west coast, including the Pink-footed Shearwater. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (U.S. Department of Commerce) have co-sponsored a collaborative study of Pink-footed Shearwaters movements and habitat use at sea. Solar-powered satellite tracking devices were attached to birds captured in their nesting burrows in Chile. The birds are now being tracked as they move northward. Further plans include capturing additional birds at sea in California and perhaps off S.W. British Columbia and attaching satellite tags. This project involves staff from the Canadian Wildlife Service, the University of Washington, Duke University, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Summary of Recovery ActivitiesA database of all CWS-sponsored ship-of-opportunity sightings of Pink-footed Shearwaters in Canadian and adjacent waters has been created and a draft map has been produced. URLs Link to the satellite tracking project: http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/?project_id=132 Government of Canada Species at Risk Public Registry:http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/showDocument_e.cfm?id=490 COSEWIC webpage:http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct1/searchdetail_e.cfm?id=819&StartRow=1&boxStatus=All&boxTaxonomic=All&location=All&change=All&board=All&commonName=Pink-footed%20Shearwater&scienceName=&returnFlag=0&Page=1
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
13 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (2 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Action Plans (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (3 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- Permits and Related Agreements (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (2 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Pink-footed Shearwater (2004-10-22)This seabird breeds on only three islands off the coast of Chile, where it has suffered significant but unmeasured declines due to nest predation by introduced predators, exploitation by humans and habitat degradation. It likely incurs mortality due to incidental take by fisheries off the coast of British Columbia during the non-breeding season and would be sensitive to any offshore oil spills there.
Response Statement - Pink-footed Shearwater (2018-01-18)This long-lived seabird nests on only three islands off the coast of Chile, where it has suffered significant declines due to nest predation by introduced predators, exploitation by humans and habitat degradation. It also experiences mortality due to incidental take by fisheries across its range, including important foraging areas off the coast of British Columbia. Bycatch risk from fisheries has increased over the last three generations. This species is also sensitive to offshore oil spills.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2004 (2004-09-16)2004 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
COSEWIC Annual Report 2016 to 2017 (2017-10-24)Over the past year COSEWIC re-examined the status of 40 wildlife species; of these, the majority (78 %) were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. Of a total of 73 species assessed 11 were assigned the status of Not at Risk (8 re-assessments and 3 new assessments). To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 735 wildlife species in various risk categories including 321 Endangered, 172 Threatened, 219 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated (i.e. - no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition 16 species have been assessed as Extinct, 58 have been designated as Data Deficient and 186 were assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.