Gould's petrel - endangered species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, has made a Final Determination to list Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera, (Gould, 1844), Gould's Petrel as an ENDANGERED SPECIES in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of that Act and, as a consequence, to omit reference to that species as a vulnerable species from Schedule 2 of that Act.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Gould's Petrel breeds primarily on Cabbage Tree Island, NSW. They breed colonially, predominantly within two gullies on the island. Each pair lays a single egg, which is not replaced if lost. Eggs are laid amongst rock scree, in rock crevices, under boulders or fallen palm fronds, in hollow fallen palm trunks or in cavities among the buttresses of fig trees. Whilst breeding the species is nocturnal.

2. The total population of Gould's Petrel is estimated to have declined by at least 26% between 1970 and 1992. The current population is estimated to be between 1100 and 1500 individuals, and the breeding population is estimated to number less than 500 pairs.

3. Breeding adults and fledglings can suffer high mortality whilst ashore; some birds have died as a result of entanglement by the fruits of the Bird-lime Tree, Pisonia umbellifera. Breeding success is consistently less than 25% when threatening processes are unmitigated.

4. Threats to Gould's Petrel include predation by Pied Currawongs Strepera graculina and degradation of nesting habitat by the introduced Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus.

5. In view of 2, 3 & 4 above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Gould's Petrel Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera is likely to become extinct in nature in NSW unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival cease to operate, and that transfer from Schedule 2 to Part 1 of Schedule 1 is justified.

About the NSW Scientific Committee

Page last updated: 27 February 2011