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Puffinus mauretanicus - Balearic Shearwater | by Roger Wasley
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Puffinus mauretanicus - Balearic Shearwater

Record shot from the good ship "Germini" in Lyme Bay.


Only in the 1990s determined as a separate species from Manx and Yelkouan Shearwaters, and considered endemic to the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Balearic Shearwater is classified as critically endangered with a fast declining population. Population estimates vary from as few as 2,000 breeding pairs to upwards of 20,000 individuals, suggesting undiscovered breeding colonies. Either way, recorded declines are real, and urgent conservation action is ongoing to prevent extinction.


Only known to breed on a few rocky islets in the Balearic Islands. Balearic Shearwaters undertake a post-breeding dispersal into Biscay and north to the English Channel (and presumably elsewhere) in the summer and autumn. Appears to be having to respond to climate change by dispersing further north following prey species like Anchovy. Thousands of birds used to moult inshore along the French Biscay coast from June-October but no longer appear to do so in any numbers.


IUCN status: Critically Endangered. More information at:


© Roger Wasley 2014 all rights reserved. Unauthorized use or reproduction for any reason is prohibited.

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Taken on September 5, 2014