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This species has recently been rediscovered, with confirmed records of at least 30 and 160 birds from expeditions in 2007 and 2008. It may have declined severely from depredation by introduced cats and rats on its breeding grounds (which are unknown but thought likely to be include New Ireland). However, the paucity of records is most likely because there have been relatively few searches at sea, plus petrels that are nocturnal at the nesting grounds are notoriously difficult to detect, and there are numerous possible breeding sites on isolated atolls and islands that require surveying. A very small number of mature individuals are currently known, all within a single subpopulation which is suspected to have declined, and it is consequently classified as Critically Endangered. It may however qualify for downlisting in the future if further surveys reveal it to be more numerous than is currently known.
Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
Gangloff et al. (2012) reconstructed the complete phylogeny of Pseudobulweria and found that species status for P. becki was supported, although genetic distance was relatively small between this taxon and P. rostrata, suggesting recent divergence between the species.
Pterodroma becki Collar and Andrew (1988), Pterodroma becki Collar et al. (1994), Pterodroma becki Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
29 cm. Small, rather atypical gadfly petrel. Dark, glossy brown upperparts, head and throat. Dark underwings with variably distinct white underwing bar. White breast and belly. Probably solitary at sea, banking and towering more than shearwaters, on straight wings, slightly swept back at tips. Pale throat. Similar spp. Similar to P. rostrata but 25% smaller and with a proportionately more slender bill. In the field Beck's Petrel is apparently noticeably smaller than Tahiti Petrel. Voice Unknown. P. rostrata has a long, elaborate series of whistles at its breeding grounds. Hints Check all gadfly petrels seen from boat trips in northern Melanesia.
Bird, J.P. 2012. Targeted searches to identify nesting grounds of Beck's Petrel Pseudobulweria becki. Notornis 59: 189-193.
Bird, J.P., Carlile, N. and Miller, M.G.R. 2014. A review of records and research actions for the Critically Endangered Beck's Petrel Pseudobulweria becki. Bird Conservation International 24: 287-298.
Coates, B. J. 1985. The birds of Papua New Guinea, 1: non-passerines. Dove, Alderley, Australia.
Coates, B. J.; Swainson, G. W. 1978. Notes on the birds of Wuvulu island. Papua New Guinea Bird Society Newsletter 145: 8-10.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 November 2015).
Murphy, R. C.; Pennoyer, J. M. 1952. Larger petrels of the genus Pterodroma. American Museum Novitates 1580.
Palliser, T. 1987. Papua New Guinea.
Richards, A.; Rowland, R. 1995. List of birds recorded in Papua New Guinea during the period 16 October to 29 November 1992. Muruk 7(2): 75-95.
Shirihai, H. 2008. Tubenoses at the Bismarck Archipelago: Surveying at sea populations of the Beck's Petrel; in search of the Fiji-like Petrel - Expedition # 3.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Bird, J., Butchart, S., Dutson, G., O'Brien, A., Stattersfield, A., Symes, A., Martin, R & Ashpole, J
Collins, C., Pym, T., Shirihai, H., Wilson, A. & Bird, J.
IUCN Red List evaluators
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pseudobulweria becki. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/02/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/02/2016.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.
|Current IUCN Red List category||Critically Endangered|
|Family||Procellariidae (Petrels, Shearwaters)|
|Species name author||(Murphy, 1928)|
|Population size||50-249 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||120,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|