Cape Petrel Daption capense


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
Brooke (2004) estimated the global population to exceed 2,000,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

During breeding season, Cape Petrels feed around Antarctica's shelf and during the winter they range further north, as far as Angola and the Gal√°pagos Islands, Ecuador. They breed on many islands of Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands, some going as far as the Auckland Islands, the Chatham Islands, Campbell Island (New Zealand). Their main breeding grounds were on the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia (Georgias del Sur), the Balleny Islands, the Kerguelen Islands (French Southern Territory), as well as islands in the Scotia Sea (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


The Cape Petrel is marine and pelagic, especially in winter. It occurs mainly over cold waters beyond the continental shelf, but can be found over inshore waters during breeding. Its diet comprises mainly of krill, but also fish, squid, offal, carrion and refuse from ships, acquiring food by hydroplaning, dipping whilst on the wing and occasionally diving. It has been seen associated with whales and other seabirds, and congregates in large flocks around trawlers. The breeding season starts in November with colonies or variable sizes being formed on cliffs or steep rocky slopes. It nests in shallow crevices, in scrape on rocky ledges, on stable beds of gravel or among boulders (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


At present there are no factors thought to pose a genuine threat to this species.


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Fjagesund, T., Calvert, R., Hermes, C., Martin, R., Butchart, S., Newton, P., Stuart, A.

Dowsett, R.J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Daption capense. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023.