Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis


Taxonomic note
Ardenna gravis (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Puffinus.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Brooke, M. de L. 2004. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Least Concern
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency medium
Land-mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 109,000,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 10000000 mature individuals poor estimated 2004
Population trend stable - suspected -
Generation length 15.75 years - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number more than 15,000,000 individuals (Brooke 2004), which equates to more than 10,000,000 mature individuals. A minimum of 5,000,000 pairs are thought to breed at Tristan da Cunha, and 600,000 to 3,000,000 pairs at Gough (Carboneras 1992).

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

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Algeria extant vagrant
Angola extant vagrant
Anguilla (to UK) extant uncertain
Antigua and Barbuda extant uncertain
Argentina extant uncertain
Australia extant vagrant
Bahamas extant uncertain
Barbados extant vagrant
Bermuda (to UK) extant native yes
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) extant vagrant
Brazil extant native yes
Canada extant uncertain
Cape Verde extant uncertain
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
Chile extant native yes
Côte d'Ivoire extant uncertain
Curaçao (to Netherlands) extant vagrant
Denmark extant vagrant
Dominica extant vagrant
Dominican Republic extant vagrant
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) extant native yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant uncertain
France extant native yes
French Guiana extant uncertain
Gabon extant vagrant
Gambia extant uncertain
Germany extant vagrant
Ghana extant vagrant
Gibraltar (to UK) extant vagrant
Greenland (to Denmark) extant native yes
Grenada extant uncertain
Guadeloupe (to France) extant vagrant
Guinea extant uncertain
Guinea-Bissau extant uncertain
Guyana extant native yes
High Seas extant native yes
Iceland extant uncertain
Ireland extant native yes
Israel extant vagrant
Italy extant vagrant
Lebanon extant vagrant yes
Liberia extant vagrant
Martinique (to France) extant native
Mauritania extant uncertain
Mexico extant native
Morocco extant vagrant
Namibia extant uncertain
Netherlands extant vagrant
Norway extant uncertain
Portugal extant native yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant uncertain
São Tomé e Príncipe extant vagrant yes
Senegal extant uncertain
Sierra Leone extant uncertain
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) extant vagrant
South Africa extant uncertain
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands extant uncertain
Spain extant native yes
St Helena (to UK) extant native yes
St Lucia extant vagrant
St Martin (to France) extant uncertain
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant native yes yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines extant uncertain
Suriname extant vagrant
Sweden extant vagrant
Trinidad and Tobago extant vagrant yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant uncertain
United Kingdom extant native yes
Uruguay extant uncertain
USA extant native yes
Venezuela extant uncertain
Virgin Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
Virgin Islands (to USA) extant vagrant
Western Sahara extant uncertain

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
St Helena (to UK) Inaccessible Island
St Helena (to UK) Nightingale Island group
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 34 - Marine
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 28 - Marine
St Helena (to UK) Gough Island

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subantarctic major breeding
Grassland Subantarctic major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 600 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Ardenna gravis. Downloaded from on 11/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 11/12/2023.