Black Petrel off the BARC Review List

To: <>
Subject: Black Petrel off the BARC Review List
From: "Dion Hobcroft" <>
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 13:42:09 +1000
Hi all,

BARC has removed the Black Petrel off the Review list (Tony Palliser
pers.comm) from June 2001 as it has become clear that the species is an
annual rare visitor typically in very small numbers generally between
November and February to mostly central NSW pelagic waters.

Problems with understanding the true status of this species arise from a
lack of circulated records to BARC despite numerous reports, potential
confusion with Westland Black Petrel that seems also to beach wash in NSW in
the summer months occasionally (but nearly all sight records in winter in
central NSW in 1996 during a minor invasion) and the endangered NZ status of
both species.

It seems to me that both Black and Westland Black Petrel have recovering
populations in NZ from better protection and land management of the breeding
areas. Reporting rates of both species are increasing in Australia from
better educated marine observers on more pelagic seabirding trips than ever
before. Despite increasing reporting rates observers are shying away from
submitting claims because of the paperwork concerned and the delay in
decisions being formalised. Tony has addressed the speed of the decision
making process so submitters of records can hopefully expect faster

I am not certain of the exact history but over 200 years elapsed from
Parkinson collecting a Black Petrel off Sydney in 1770 and the second
record, a sighting off Wollongong I think in November 1985. Since 1985 Black
Petrels have been reported annually in small numbers with some summer
seasons being more productive than others. This season very few were
reported (although Idid have the pleasure of being bitten by one banded by
SOSSA on Wollongong pelagic this season 23.02.02) and in the past 17 years
very few have been circulated to BARC necessitating keeping them on the
Review list until last years annual general meeting.

Unfortunately despite improving conservation measures in NZ both species are
likely to suffer from long line fishing mortality as their close relatives
Grey and White-chinned Petrel are well known victims to this practice with
real concern for their global conservation.



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