Persian Shearwater Puffinus persicus


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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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
The nominate subspecies Puffinus persicus persicus is thought to number in the thousands of pairs on the Kuria Maria Islands off Oman and Socotra, Yemen, while Puffinus persicus temptator has been estimated to number fewer than 500 pairs on Moheli Island in the Comoros (reviewed by Brooke 2004). It is thought likely that there are more breeding colonies undiscovered elsewhere in the northern Indian Ocean (Onley and Scofield 2007), thus the total population probably includes more than 10,000 mature individuals.


While the nominate race Puffinus persicus persicus has a reasonable population size, Puffinus persicus temptator could number less than 500 pairs. Previously, population size has been limited by humans taking chicks for food, a practice which continues on a local basis today. Little is known about which races are targeted and the level of impact, but this could potentially pose a great risk for the extinction of P. p. temptator, and caution should be exerted since the cause for the overall decline for this species is unknown (Brooke 2004).


Text account compilers
Symes, A., Taylor, J., Martin, R., Fjagesund, T., Stuart, A., Hermes, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Puffinus persicus. Downloaded from on 02/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/07/2020.