Murphy's Petrel Pterodroma ultima


Taxonomic source(s)
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. 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.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2019 Least Concern
2018 Near Threatened A2e+3e+4e
2016 Near Threatened A2e+3e+4e;B2ab(i,ii,iv,v);D2
2012 Near Threatened A2e+3e+4e;B2ab(i,ii,iv,v);D2
2010 Near Threatened A2e; A3e; A4e; B2a+b(i,ii,iv,v); D2
2008 Near Threatened B2a+b(i,ii,iv,v); D2
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Near Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 69,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals medium suspected 2004
Population trend Unknown poor -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 15.6 - - -

Population justification: Brooke (2004) claimed a population size of 800,000-1,000,000 individuals.

Trend justification: Population trends are unknown for this species. Rats predate on eggs and chicks at peripheral populations, but this may not impact the global population size (S. Oppel in litt. 2019). For example, nesting success is poor (17%) on Henderson Island, where rat eradication attempts have not been successful (Churchyard et al. 2013,  Brooke 2019). However, the two largest colonies, on Ducie and Oeno, have been rat-free since 1997, with the latter now increasing in size (Brooke et al. 2018). 

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
American Samoa U Extant
Canada U Extant
Chile U Extant
Cook Islands U Extant
Costa Rica U Extant
Ecuador U Extant
French Polynesia N Extant Yes
French Southern Territories U Extant
Kiribati U Extant
Mexico U Extant
Niue (to New Zealand) U Extant
Peru U Extant
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) N Extant Yes
Samoa U Extant
St Helena (to UK) V Extant
Tokelau (to New Zealand) U Extant
Tonga U Extant
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) U Extant
USA U Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
French Polynesia Motu Tehau
French Polynesia Temoe
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) Oeno Island
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) Ducie Island
French Polynesia Apataki, Arutua et Kaukura (Îles Palliser)
French Polynesia Manui, Kamaka, Makaroa
French Polynesia Maria
French Polynesia Ilots rocheux de Rapa et Marotiri
French Polynesia Pentes du mont Hiro de Raivavae
French Polynesia Fangataufa
French Polynesia Morane
French Polynesia Moruroa
French Polynesia Reitoru
French Polynesia Rurutu Island
French Polynesia Tubuai Island
French Polynesia Maturei Vavao
French Polynesia Moruroa
French Polynesia Tekava
French Polynesia Tenarunga
French Polynesia Totegegie
Cook Islands Rarotonga Cloud Forest
Cook Islands Takitumu Conservation Area, Rarotonga
Fiji East Kadavu Passage
French Polynesia Marotiri Marine
French Polynesia Rapa Marine
French Polynesia Fangataufa Marine
French Polynesia Mangareva Marin
French Polynesia Temoe Marin
French Polynesia Morane Marine

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Bathypelagic (1000-4000m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate major breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Rattus exulans Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Pterodroma ultima. Downloaded from on 29/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/11/2022.