Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
This taxon may be listed under the EPBC Act at the species level, see Pterodroma leucoptera [1056].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement plan for competition and land degradation by rabbits (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008adh) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat abatement plan for the impacts of marine debris on vertebrate marine life (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009t) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Marine bioregional plan for the Temperate East Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012aa) [Admin Guideline].
 
Survey Guidelines for Australia's Threatened Birds. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.2 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2010l) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument].
 
List of Migratory Species - Amendment to the list of migratory species under section 209 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (26/11/2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013af) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Gould's Petrel _Profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005km) [Internet].
NSW:Gould's Petrel - endangered species listing. NSW Scientific Committee - final determination (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2008i) [Internet].
NSW:Gould's Petrel Threatened Species Information (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2000as) [Information Sheet].
NSW:Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act Schedules 2007-2009 (NSW Scientific Committee (NSW SC), 2009b) [State Species Management Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
Scientific name Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera [26033]
Family Procellariidae:Procellariiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author  
Infraspecies author (Gould, 1844)
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera

Common name: Gould's Petrel

Other Names: White-winged Petrel; White-winged Fulmar; White-throated Petrel; Sooty-capped Petrel (Marchant & Higgins 1990).

Gould's Petrel, Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera, is the nominate subspecies of P. leucoptera, which is also known as Gould's Petrel. Although it has been suggested that Australian Gould's Petrels could be a subspecies of the Cook's Petrel (Pterodroma cookii) (Sibley & Monroe 1990), it is now conventionally accepted as P. l. leucoptera, being the only subspecies of Gould's Petrel that breeds in Australian waters (Christidis & Boles 1994; Marchant & Higgins 1990).

Unless specifically stated, this profile will refer to the Australian subspecies (P. l. leucoptera) as "Gould's Petrel".

Gould's Petrel is a small, slightly-built petrel with a distinct 'M'-shaped marking on its upperwings. Gould's Petrels measure about 70 cm, and weigh about 200 g. The head is characterised by a white forehead with dark freckles that merge into a black hood over the crown and nape; the mantle is blue-grey or dark grey, and the rump darker grey; the short, rounded tail is grey with a brown wash, grading darker at the end; and the underparts are white. The upperwing is dark brownish grey with a prominent blackish 'M'-shaped mark which extends across the lower back. The underwings are white with a blackish trailing edge and a blackish leading edge which extends towards the middle of the wing at the carpal joint, forming a distinct diagonal carpal bar. The bill is black; the eyes are dark brown; and the legs and feet are off-white with the toes, joints, webs and claws dull black (Marchant & Higgins 1990; Roberson & Bailey 1991; Surman et al. 1997). Gould's Petrel is usually seen at sea singly or in twos, occasionally in groups of about 12, and infrequently in groups as large as 60 (Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Surman et al. 1997).

The Australian subspecies of the Gould's Petrel breeds in NSW on Cabbage Tree Island and nearby Boondelbah Island, near Port Stephens (Fullagar 1976; Priddel & Carlile 1997, 1997a), and at least one pair on Montague Island, near Naroooma (ABC News 2013). The pelagic distribution of Gould's Petrel is unknown, as when they are seen at sea, they are indistinguishable from the New Caledonian subspecies (Pterodroma leucoptera caledonica) (Marchant & Higgins 1990).

Though the Gould's Petrel is seldom recorded away from its breeding islands, the subspecies is apparently absent from the islands between May and late August (Fullagar 1976; Marchant & Higgins 1990; NSW 2006a). While its distribution at sea is poorly known, it has been suggested that most individuals would occur in the Tasman Sea (Marchant & Higgins 1990), with most records at sea from waters off south-eastern Australia, especially off Tasmania, mainly between December and April (Reid et al. 2002). Because of difficulties discriminating between the subspecies at sea, it is possible that some birds recorded in waters off south-eastern Australia have been of the New Caledonian subspecies (Reid et al. 2002; Wood 1990a). Several birds identified as Gould's Petrels were recorded at sea off south-western Western Australia in December 1994 (Surman et al. 1997) and the species has also been recorded in the southern Indian Ocean (Woehler et al. 1990).

A few beachcast specimens have been collected, most in NSW, but also a few in south-eastern Queensland and in Victoria (Marchant & Higgins 1990), and one at Eyre Bird Observatory, on the edge of the Great Australian Bight in south-eastern Western Australia (Johnstone 1993).

The extent of occurrence of the Gould's Petrel is estimated at 20 000 km² (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The area of occupancy of the Gould's Petrel is estimated at 2 km² (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

There are two breeding populations of Gould's Petrel: the main one on Cabbage Tree Island and a smaller subsidiary one on nearby Boondelbah Island, near Port Stephens, NSW (Priddel & Carlile 1997, 1997a).

There are no captive populations of the Gould's Petrel, but a translocation programme has been established, with 200 chicks translocated from Cabbage Tree Island to artificial nest boxes on Boondelbah Island in 1999 and 2000 (NSW 2006a; Priddel & Carlile 2001). These sites have been identified in the most recent Recovery Plan (NSW 2006a).

Although there are two breeding populations of the Australian subspecies of the Gould's Petrel, they are not isolated from one another. The main breeding island of Cabbage Tree Island is about 1.4 km north of Boondelbah Island, the only other island where Gould's Petrel is known to breed, and interchange of birds between the islands has been recorded (Priddel & Carlile 1997a).

At the species level, P. leucoptera occurs broadly in the Pacific Ocean. The Australian subspecies, P. l. leucoptera, breeds on Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah Islands in NSW. Outside Australia, P.l. caledonica breeds in New Caledonia, and P.l. brevipes in Fiji and the Cook Islands, as well as possibly in Vanuatu, Samoa and the Solomon Islands (del Hoyo et al. 1992; Marchant & Higgins 1990; Roberson & Bailey 1991; Watling 1986).

The distribution at sea of the species as a whole is poorly known, but near Australia it is thought to extend from the waters off Tasmania into the Tasman Sea, where the species ranges to the west coast of New Zealand, south to near Codfish Island in the Foveaux Strait. Further afield, it occurs east into the tropical central-western Pacific Ocean, usually between 10° N and 20° S (Imber & Jenkins 1981; Marchant & Higgins 1990; Meeth & Meeth 1983; Roberson & Bailey 1991), and there have also been records in the Southern Ocean off south-western Western Australia and elsewhere in the southern Indian Ocean (Surman et al. 1997; Woehler et al. 1990).

At the species level, the overall global population estimate of Gould's Petrels is 1000–10 000 pairs (Birdlife International 2000a).

The Australian subspecies of Gould's Petrel is distinct from other subspecies (Imber & Jenkins 1981; Marchant & Higgins 1990). There is some overlap in the distributions of the Australian subspecies and other subspecies at sea. For example, the New Caledonian subspecies has been recorded in waters off southern Australia (Blaber 1986; Green 1984; Parker & May 1981) and possibly off Queensland (Stokes & Corben 1985). It is unclear to what extent Gould's Petrels originating in Australia move outside the Australian jurisdiction. It was formerly considered that Australian Gould's Petrels occurred in the Tasman Sea off New Zealand, but critical examination revealed that the birds in New Zealand were of the New Caledonian subspecies (Bull 1943; Imber & Jenkins 1981; Powlesland 1987).

Gould's Petrel has been well-surveyed in Australia. Surveys of breeding birds on Cabbage Tree Island have been conducted since 1910–1911, when A.F.B. Hull visited the island (Hull 1911a, 1911b), and various other ornithological parties visited the breeding colony on the island in the first half of the 20th century (Hindwood & Serventy 1941, 1943). The first studies of the species on Cabbage Tree Island were published in the early 1940s (D'Ombrain 1943; Hindwood & Serventy 1941, 1943). The colony was subsequently studied by Peter Fullagar in the 1970s (Fullagar 1976), but the most comprehensive studies were conducted by David Priddel and Nicholas Carlile in the 1990s (Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1996, 1997a, 2001; Priddel et al. 1995, 2000; O'Dwyer et al. 2006).

The total population of the Australian subspecies of the Gould's Petrel on Cabbage Tree Island is 2500 birds, comprising more than 1000 breeding pairs, with another 70 breeding individuals on nearby Boondelbah Island (NSW 2006a; Priddel & Carlile 2004, 2004a, 2009).

The population of Gould's Petrels had previously declined from 375±102 pairs in 1970 (Davey 1990) to 122 breeding pairs in 1990 (Priddel & Carlile 1997; Priddel et al. 1995). Breeding success was poor, less than 20%, and fewer than 50 young fledged each year. Sigificantly, adult mortality exceeded reproductive output leading to unsustainable population levels (Pridell & Carlile 2009).

Attributable to the recovery effort, the population of the Australian subspecies of the Gould's Petrel has increased since 1990 (NSW 2006a; Priddel & Carlile 2009). Breeding success increased to about 50%, and the population has increased to more than 1000 breeding pairs. The number of fledglings produced per annum has also increased to more than 450 (Pridell & Carlile 2009).

The key breeding population of the Gould's Petrel occurs on Cabbage Tree Island in NSW (NSW 2006a; Priddel & Carlile 2004, 2004a).

Both breeding islands of the Gould's Petrel occur in reserves: Cabbage Tree Island is part of the John Gould Nature Reserve; and Boondelbah Island is contained in the Boondelbah Island Nature Reserve (NSW 2006a; Priddel & Carlile 2004, 2004a).

Gould's Petrel is a pelagic marine species, spending much of its time foraging at sea and coming ashore only to breed. The Australian subspecies breeds and roosts on two islands off NSW, Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah Islands, and the at-sea distribution is poorly known (NSW 2006a; D'Ombrain 1970; Fullagar 1976; Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Hull 1911b; Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1997; Priddel et al. 1995).

The breeding colonies on Cabbage Tree Island and Boondelbah Island are in the transitional zone between the subtropical (with maximum summer rainfall) and temperate climatic zones (with maximum winter rainfall) (NPWS 2003). On Cabbage Tree Island, Gould's Petrels mostly breed among rocky scree and beneath coarse woody debris in gullies dominated by dense rainforest, heavily vegetated with Cabbage Tree Palms (Livistonia australis), figs (Ficus) and Native Plums (Planchonella australis) (NSW 2006b; D'Ombrain 1970; Fullagar 1976; Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Hull 1911b; Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1997; Priddel et al. 1995), but also occasionally among tussocks of mat-rush (Lomandra longifolia) (D'Ombrain 1970). Nests occur from just above sea level to elevations of 120 m (Fullagar 1976).

Boondelbah Island is relatively treeless, except for a few wind-sheared trees, and is dominated by low vegetation. Here Gould's Petrels breed in artificial nest boxes, in piles of rocks and in the cavities between rocks (Priddel & Carlile 1995, 1997a).

The at-sea habitat preferences of Gould's Petrel are poorly understood. It often occurs in the warm waters of the East Australian Current, where the sea-surface temperature ranges from 9.7–23.0 °C (Barton 1980; Blaber 1986; Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Reid et al. 2002); and off south-western Western Australia, where cold subantarctic waters intrude into warmer waters with a sea-surface temperature of about 15 °C (Surman et al. 1997). Of the 965 records of Gould's Petrels from south-eastern Australia, 58% were over the continental slope, 39% over open ocean and 3% over the continental shelf (Reid et al. 2002). The species also occasionally occurs over seamounts, where upwelling probably occurs, but these observations may refer to other subspecies (Barton 1980; Blaber 1986; Reid et al. 2002).

There is little information on the ages of sexual maturity or life expectancy of the Australian subspecies of the Gould's Petrel. The Gould's Petrel is thought to first breed at 4–5 years old (Baker et al. 2002; NSW 2006a) and have a generation length of 10 years (Garnett & Crowley 2000). A Gould's Petrel banded as a nestling on Cabbage Tree Island was recaptured at the same place 32 years 8 months later (Anon. 1999e).

On Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah Islands, Gould's Petrels breed between November and March, with eggs laid in late November and early December. Both sexes are thought to incubate (Marchant & Higgins 1990). Most hatching occurs in January (usually around 10 January), and most chicks have fledged by late April, though some persist until May (D'Ombrain 1970; Fullagar 1976; Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Hull 1911a, 1911b; Morse 1918; Priddel & Carlile 1997, 2001).

Gould's Petrel nests consist of a depression in the ground, and usually contain little more than a few short broken lengths of dry palm fronds (Fullagar 1976; Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Hull 1911a). Occupied nest-sites are often clumped together (Fullagar 1976; Marchant & Higgins 1990), with nests sometimes situated within "only a few yards" of each other (D'Ombrain 1943). The maximum recorded density of nests was measured at 11 nests/100 m², with a mean of 5.6 nests/100 m² over 6 years (Marchant & Higgins 1990). Nest-sites are used by the same birds in successive years (Marchant & Higgins 1990).

Each female lays a single white egg each season, with no replacement clutches laid if the egg is lost (Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Hull 1911a; Marchant & Higgins 1990). On Cabbage Tree Island, of 69 eggs recorded in December over six seasons, 26 (38%) produced well-grown chicks in late February; and annual breeding success ranged from 17 to 57% (Marchant & Higgins 1990). In four breeding seasons, 1989–1992, the mean breeding success averaged less than 20% and did not exceed 25% (Priddel et al. 1995). Since 1993, the total success in most years has been over 50%, reaching a maximum of 59% in 1994–95 (NSW 2006a; Priddel & Carlile 2009).

The diet of Gould's Petrel is poorly known (Marchant & Higgins 1990), but the diet of the species as a whole includes cephalopods (squid) and fish, such as Lanternfish (Electrona rissoi) (Bull 1943; Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Imber 1996).

The foraging behaviour of the Gould's Petrel probably consists of seizing prey from the surface of the sea (Roberson & Bailey 1991). The species has been recorded feeding in association with other seabirds as well as tuna and dolphins (Au & Pitman 1986; Roberson & Bailey 1991), but these observations may not have been of the Australian subspecies (Marchant & Higgins 1990).

The movement patterns of Gould's Petrel are poorly understood, and occurrence away from the breeding colonies is largely undocumented, as it is difficult or impossible to separate from the New Caledonian subspecies at sea (Marchant & Higgins 1990). During the breeding season Gould's Petrels have been recorded mostly at sea off south-eastern Australia, especially in Tasmanian waters (Reid et al. 2002). Records off south-western Western Australia during this time probably reflect non-breeding birds (Surman et al. 1997) as it has been speculated that they remain near the breeding island (Hindwood & Serventy 1941). It is known that Gould's Petrels are absent from the breeding colonies during winter, leaving in May and returning in mid to late September or October (Fullagar 1976; Hindwood & Serventy 1943), and during this time they are not recorded in waters off south-eastern Australia (Reid et al. 2002). It has been speculated that birds move to the northern Tasman Sea during this time, but may occur further afield, possibly as far as the eastern Pacific Ocean, though records there may involve other subspecies (Marchant & Higgins 1990; Roberson & Bailey 1991).

Little is known of the home range of the Gould's Petrel, other than some individuals have been recorded well away from the breeding colonies during the breeding season, occurring as far away as waters off Tasmania and Western Australia (Reid et al. 2002; Surman et al. 1997). At the breeding colonies, nests may be quite near one another (D'Ombrain 1943), indicating that breeding territories are small.

Australian Gould's Petrels can be difficult to distinguish at sea from other subspecies of Pterodroma leucoptera, especially the New Caledonian subspecies (Imber & Jenkins 1981; Marchant & Higgins 1990; Roberson & Bailey 1991). In addition, some other species of 'gadfly' petrels are also superficially similar to this species, such as Cook's Petrel (Pterodroma cookii) and the Black-winged Petrel (P. nigripennis) (Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Marchant & Higgins 1990; Roberson & Bailey 1991; Surman et al. 1997).

At breeding colonies, Gould's Petrels are often difficult to locate by sight, as they roost or nest in inaccessible cavities between rocks, and are only active at night (Priddel & Carlile 1997a; Priddel et al. 1995). At breeding colonies, Gould's Petrel can be detected as it readily responds to imitations of its calls, or loud noises, such as banging two rocks together (D'Ombrain 1943; Hindwood & Serventy 1941; Hull 1911b; Priddel & Carlile 1997a).

Unlike many other species of seabirds, Gould's Petrel is not attracted to ships (Marchant & Higgins 1990; Surman et al. 1997), making it more difficult to detect at sea. Once located, Gould's Petrel is however, conspicuous and experienced observers of seabirds should have little difficulty detecting it (Reid et al. 2002; Surman et al. 1997). The species as a whole is often attracted to congregations of other foraging seabirds, tuna and dolphins (Roberson & Bailey 1991), so may be readily detected in those situations.

Gould's Petrel is best detected at its breeding colonies. Any survey should be nocturnal (as the species is only active around the nest-site at night), and it should follow the peak time of egg-laying, which is relatively synchronous, and occurs between late November and early December, when adults are incubating. The best method of censusing Gould's Petrels at their colonies is to conduct transect surveys, eliciting responses to imitations of the species' calls or by making other loud noises such as banging rocks together (Baker et al. 2002; Priddel & Carlile 1997a; Priddel et al. 1995).

There have been a number of threats identified as impacting on the breeding colony of Gould's Petrels on Cabbage Tree Island. A major cause of mortality in both adult breeding birds and young, is becoming entangled in the sticky fruit or seeds of the Bird-lime Tree (Pisonia umbellifera), which incapacitates the birds and, rendering them unable to fly, leads to their eventual death by starvation (NSW 2006a; D'Ombrain 1943, 1952, 1964; Fullagar 1976; Hindwood & Serventy 1941, 1943; Morse 1918; Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1997, 2004).

Predation by Pied Currawongs (Strepera graculina), and possibly also by Australian Ravens (Corvus coronoides) at the Cabbage Tree Island breeding colony is another major source of mortality of Gould's Petrels. An increase in the population of these avian predators due to the effects of human activities on the adjacent mainland has resulted in their regular occurrence on the offshore island. The level of mortality of the Gould's Petrel due to the effects of increased predation may have been exacerbated by the effects of grazing by rabbits which reduced the amount of cover. Predation by these birds previously exceeded recruitment to the population, and was thus the major cause of population decline (Priddel 1996; Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1997; Priddel et al. 1995).

Other threats include disturbance from the noise of aircraft from a nearby airforce base: when disturbed, Gould's Petrels emit a distress call which has the potential to reveal their presence to predators (NSW 2006a).

Potential threats include the accidental introduction of mammalian predators, fire and human disturbance (NSW 2006a; Hindwood & Serventy 1941). At sea, oil spills pose a potential risk (NSW 2006a).


The Gould's Petrel could be subject to some unforseen forms of oceanic perturbation which would adversely affect the population through the unavailability of sufficient prey to sustain a healthy body condition, such as a mass die-off of fish (Priddel & Carlile 1997). The breeding habitat of Gould's Petrel on Cabbage Tree Island has the potential to be affected by fire (NSW 2006a). Heavy summer rainfall also has the potential to cause flooding of nest-sites, reducing breeding success (Fullagar 1976; Priddel et al. 1995).

Various threat abatement projects for Gould's Petrel have been initiated. Large areas previously infested with Bird-lime Trees have been removed from areas around the breeding colonies (but not from elsewhere on the island) by repeated poisoning with glycophosphate herbicide (Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1997). The threat of predation posed by Pied Currawongs has been alleviated by the control of this avian predator through a concerted control programme in which adult Currawongs, as well as their nests and nestlings, on the island were destroyed (Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1997). Following these actions, there was an immediate decrease in the number of Gould's Petrels killed by Currawongs (Priddel & Carlile 1997).

Rabbits were successfully eradicated from the island in 1997 (Priddel et al. 2000) and the recovery of vegetation is well underway. It is hoped that the recovery of the understorey will reduce the need for the avian predator control program, perhaps in as little as 15 years (N. Carlile 2007, pers. comm.; Priddel & Carlile 2009).

There is also now a no-fly zone within 2 nm of the Cabbage Tree Island to alleviate the disturbance caused by jet aircraft; and access to Cabbage Tree Island is allowed only with official permission, so that disturbance from day-trippers is minimised (NSW 2006a; Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1997). All of these threat-abatement strategies are being conducted under the auspices of the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW 2006a).

The Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (NSW 2006a) specifies the following recovery objectives:

  • To identify and manage the threats operating at sites where the subspecies occurs. This includes the control of avian predators, removal of mature Bird-lime Trees in nesting habitat, restricting public access and maintaining the no-fly zone.
  • To establish and maintain a translocated second colony at Boondelbah Island.
  • To raise awareness of the subspecies with the local community and involve volunteers in the recovery program.
  • To promote research and continue monitoring that will assist with the management of the subspecies. The population size, breeding success and life history will be monitored to enable population modelling. Research will be conducted into dietary requirements and into movement patterns away from the breeding islands.
  • To co-ordinate recovery actions through a recovery team and annual reporting on Recovery Plan implementation.

As previously mentioned, a translocation programme for Gould's Petrels has been established, with 200 chicks translocated from Cabbage Tree Island to artificial nest boxes on Boondelbah Island in 1999 and 2000 (NSW 2006a; Priddel & Carlile 2001). By 2003 there were 13 pairs breeding in nest-boxes on Boondelbah Island (Priddel & Carlile 2004a), and currently there are more than 70 breeding individuals (Priddel & Carlile 2009).

Marine bioregional plans have been developed for four of Australia's marine regions - South-west, North-west, North and Temperate East. Marine Bioregional Plans will help improve the way decisions are made under the EPBC Act, particularly in relation to the protection of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of our oceans and their resources by our marine-based industries. Marine Bioregional Plans improve our understanding of Australia's oceans by presenting a consolidated picture of the biophysical characteristics and diversity of marine life. They describe the marine environment and conservation values of each marine region, set out broad biodiversity objectives, identify regional priorities and outline strategies and actions to address these priorities. Click here for more information about marine bioregional plans.

Gould's Petrel has been identified as a conservation value in the Temperate East (DSEWPaC 2012aa) Marine Region. See Schedule 2 of the Temperate East Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012aa) for regional advice. Maps of Biologically Important Areas have been developed for Gould's petrel in the Temperate East (DSEWPaC 2012aa) Marine Region and may provide additional relevant information. Go to the conservation values atlas to view the locations of these Biologically Important Areas. The "species group report card - seabirds" for the Temperate East (DSEWPaC 2012aa) Marine Region provides additional information.

The main studies of the Australian subspecies of the Gould's Petrel have occurred at the breeding colonies on Cabbage Tree Island and nearby Boondelbah Island (Priddel & Carlile 1995b, 1996, 1997, 1997a, 2001; Priddel et al. 1995, 2000). There have also been a number of earlier studies of Gould's Petrels, as well as general ornithological studies, on these breeding islands (D'Ombrain 1943, 1964, 1970; Hindwood & Serventy 1941, 1943; Fullagar 1976; Priddel & Carlile 2004, 2004a).

The key management document for the species is the Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (NSW 2006a), as well as two previous recovery plans (NPWS 2001t; Priddel & Carlile 1996) and the Action Plan for Australian Birds (Garnett & Crowley 2000). There is also a declaration of habitat critical to the species (NSW 2006b).

The Threat abatement plan for competition and land degradation by rabbits (DEWHA 2008adh), The East Marine Bioregional Plan, Bioregional Profile (DEWHA 2009m) and the Threat abatement plan for the impacts of marine debris on vertebrate marine life (DEWHA 2009t) also provide management documentation.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Sea level rise:Inundation associated with climate change Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Pisonia umbellifera (Birdlime Tree, Jamboe (Christmas Is.)) Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus rattus (Black Rat, Ship Rat) Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation by rats Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or predation by birds Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation caused by Ravens and Crows (Corvus spp. ) Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation caused by garden escapes Strepera graculina (Pied Currawong) Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:plant Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Natural System Modifications:Other Ecosystem Modifications:Loss of lower stratum vegetation Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Pollution:Industrial and Military Effluents:Habitat degradation due to industrial discharge Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Flight Paths:aircraft noise Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].

ABC News (2013). Rare birds found off the far south coast. [Online]. Posted online 27/2/2013. Available from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-27/rare-birds-found-off-far-south-coast/4542934.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Wed, 3 Sep 2014 00:19:55 +1000.