Experts’ opinions on threats to Leach’s Storm-Petrels (Hydrobates leucorhous) across their global range

Ingrid L. Pollet, Ariel K. Lenske, Anne N.M.A. Ausems, Christophe Barbraud, Yuliana Bedolla-Guzmán, Anthony W.J. Bicknell, Mark Bolton, Alexander L. Bond, Karine Delord, Antony W. Diamond, David A. Fifield, Carina Gjerdrum, Luke R. Halpin, Erpur S. Hansen, April Hedd, Rielle Hoeg, Heather L. Major, Robert A. Mauck, Gregory T.W. McClelland, Laura Mcfarlane TranquillaWilliam A. Montevecchi, Mike Parker, Isabeau Pratte, Jean François Rail, Gregory J. Robertson, Jennifer C. Rock, Robert A. Ronconi, Dave Shutler, Iain J. Stenhouse, Akinori Takahashi, Yukata Watanuki, Linda J. Welch, Sabina I. Wilhelm, Sarah N.P. Wong, Mark L. Mallory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Seabirds are declining globally, though the threats they face differ among and within species and populations. Following substantial population declines at several breeding colonies, Leach’s Storm-Petrel (Hydrobates leucorhous) was uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2016. Reasons for these declines are unclear, and it is important to identify threats the species faces across its global breeding range to guide research directions and inform conservation efforts. We solicited feedback from 37 Leach’s Storm-Petrel scientific experts from eight countries on the importance of different threats facing the species on land and at sea. Perceived threats to extant colonies varied spatially, with a consensus within regions for main threats. Most researchers agreed that the main threats at or near colonies are avian and mammalian predators and onshore light attraction. At-sea threats have been less studied and were harder to identify and rank, but include offshore lights and structures, spatial shifts in prey, and contaminants. Climate change was not listed specifically because of its multifaceted repercussions, but several perceived threats are linked to climate change. Globally, introduction of mammalian predators is an overarching driver of seabird colony decline or extirpation; thus biosecurity must be considered an important measure for the conservation of storm-petrels. In addition, filling knowledge gaps and implementing a series of regionally relevant and targeted strategies that lead to small but cumulative conservation successes may be the best approach for this species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalAvian Conservation and Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • expert opinion
  • Hydrobates leucorhous
  • Leach’s Storm-Petrel
  • seabird conservation
  • threats


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