Monteiro's Storm-petrel/Oceanodroma monteiroi

Monteiro's Storm Petrel, Oceanodroma monteiroi, is a species of seabird in the storm-petrel family, Hydrobatidae. The cryptic species was once considered to be conspecific with the Band-rumped Storm Petrel. The species is apparently endemic to the Azores.

Taxonomy

The existence of a separate species was first hinted at by the discovery of two distinct breeding seasons of Oceanodroma storm-petrels in the Azores. Both these populations were initially thought to be of Band-rumped Storm Petrels; however, one population bred in the cool season, and the other in the hot season. Closer study of these two breeding populations found differences in their morphology and moult. Examination of the mtDNA found that the two populations were indeed genetically isolated, and the hot-season-breeding population was elevated to a full species, Oceanodroma monteiroi, Monteiro's Storm Petrel. The species is named for biologist Dr Luis Monteiro, who discovered it.

Breeding

Monteiro's Storm Petrel breeds on two islets in the Azores. As in all Procellariiformes, a single egg is laid and is incubated by both parents. The egg-laying period for this species is May to early July (in contrast to the Band-rumped Storm Petrel, which on these islands lays in October–December). The first chicks hatch in June and the last chicks fledge by October. The species is thought to forage in the local seas all year round, possibly near the breeding sites; this is in contrast to the Band-rumped Storm Petrel, which disperses to the West Atlantic. Their diet is unknown, but analysis of stable isotopes in the feathers suggest that diet is different from that of the Band-rumped Storm Petrel as well.

Conservation

The species has a low reproductive output due to competition with other burrowing petrels, and the young are preyed upon by the Long-eared Owl. The species has been assessed as Vulnerable by the IUCN because of its small population (estimated at just 250–300 pairs in 1999) and restricted breeding range (two islets in the Azores)

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceanodroma_monteiroi

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