Polar Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 11, pp 2323–2327 | Cite as

Westward range extension of Short-tailed Shearwaters Ardenna tenuirostris in the Southern Ocean

  • Peter G. RyanEmail author
  • Fabrice Le Bouard
  • Jasmine Lee
Short Note


Short-tailed Shearwaters Ardenna tenuirostris are transequatorial migrants that breed at islands in southern Australia and spend the austral winter in the North Pacific. Adults feeding chicks undertake long foraging trips into Antarctic waters (to 70°S) across a broad longitudinal range (mainly 55–180°E). In mid-March 2017, we observed thousands of shearwaters in the vicinity of Bouvetøya (from 55°S 0°E to 50°S 8°E). These observations occurred more than 2000 km west of the documented range of this species, and raise the possibility that some Short-tailed Shearwaters migrate to the North Atlantic Ocean. Further observations are needed to determine whether this is a regular behaviour that has been overlooked in the past due to confusion with Sooty Shearwaters A. grisea, or whether 2017 was an unusual year for Short-tailed Shearwaters.


Ardenna tenuirostris Atlantic Ocean Bouvetøya Migration 



We thank Bob Flood, John Graham and Eric Woehler for confirming the identification of Short-tailed Shearwaters; Kit Kovacs, Ben Raymond and Eric Woehler commented on an earlier draft of this paper. ACE was a research cruise of the Swiss Polar Institute, supported by funding from the ACE Foundation.


  1. Brooke M (2004a) Albatrosses and petrels across the world. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Brooke MDL (2004b) The food consumption of the world’s seabirds. Proc R Soc Lond B 271:S246–S248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carey MJ, Phillips RA, Silk JRD, Shaffer SA (2014) Trans-equatorial migration of short-tailed shearwaters revealed by geolocators. Emu 114:352–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cherel Y, Hobson KA, Weimerskirch H (2005) Using stable isotopes to study resource acquisition and allocation in procellariiform seabirds. Oecologia 145:533–540CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cleeland JB, Lea M-A, Hindell MA (2014) Use of the Southern Ocean by breeding short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 450:109–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Howell SNG (2012) Petrels, albatrosses, and storm-petrels of North America: a photographic guide. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kerry KR, Horne RSC, Dorward DF (1983) Records of the short-tailed shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris in Antarctic waters. Emu 83:35–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Klomp NI, Schultz M (2000) Short-tailed shearwaters breeding in Australia forage in Antarctic waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 194:307–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nicholls DG, Klomp NI, Schultz M (1998) Post-breeding flight to Antarctic waters by a short-tailed shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris. Emu 98:79–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Raymond B, Shaffer SA, Sokolov S, Woehler EJ, Costa DP, Einoder L, Hindell M, Hosie G, Pinkerton M, Sagar PM, Scott D, Smith A, Thompson DR, Vertigan C, Weimerskirch H (2010) Shearwater foraging in the Southern Ocean: the roles of prey availability and winds. PLoS ONE 5(6):e10960CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Ropert-Coudert Y, Hindell MA, Phillips R, Charrassin J-B, Trudelle L, Raymond B (2014) Biogeographic patterns of birds and mammals. In: De Broyer C, Koubbi P, Griffiths HJ, Raymond B, d’Udekem d’Acoz C, van de Putte A, Danis B, Grant S, Gutt J, Held C, Hosie G, Huettmann F, Post F, Ropert-Coudert Y (eds) Biogeographic atlas of the Southern Ocean. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Cambridge, pp 364–387Google Scholar
  12. Ryan PG (2009) The seabirds of Conrad Rise, Southern Ocean. Bull Afr Bird Club 16:67–77Google Scholar
  13. Shaffer SA, Weimerskirch H, Scott D, Pinaud D, Thompson DR, Sagar PM, Moller H, Taylor GA, Foley DG, Tremblay Y, Costa DP (2009) Spatio-temporal habitat use by breeding Sooty Shearwaters Puffinus griseus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 391:209–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Skira I (1991) The short-tailed shearwater: a review of its biology. Corella 15:45–52Google Scholar
  15. Tasker ML, Jones PH, Dixon T, Blake BF (1984) Counting seabirds at sea from ships: a review of methods employed and a suggestion for a standardized approach. Auk 101:567–577Google Scholar
  16. Weimerskirch H, Cherel Y (1998) Feeding ecology of short-tailed shearwaters: breeding in Tasmania and foraging in the Antarctic? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 167:261–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Woehler E, Raymond B, Watts DJ (2006) Convergence or divergence: where do short-tailed shearwaters forage in the Southern Ocean? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 324:261–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter G. Ryan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fabrice Le Bouard
    • 2
  • Jasmine Lee
    • 3
  1. 1.FitzPatrick Institute of Africa OrnithologyUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre d’Etude Biologiques de Chize, CNRSVilliers En BoisFrance
  3. 3.Centre for Biodiversity Conservation ScienceUniversity of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations