Snow Petrel Pagodroma nivea


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 4,000,000 individuals.

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

Distribution and population

The Snow Petrel breeds exclusively on Antarctica and some neighbouring islands, including South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


This marine species is closely linked with pack ice, occuring mainly in areas with 10-50% ice cover. It feeds mainly on krill, fish, squid and carrion, feeding mainly on the wing by dipping but also by diving and surface-seizing. Breeding starts in November in most areas, forming colonies of variable size on cliffs and rock faces up to 325 km inland and at altitudes of as much as 2400 m (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


Delayed breeding and lowered reproductive output have already been noted as responses to increased variability in the climate regime, and future impacts are predicted to be greater (Carboneras et al. 2018).


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Pagodroma nivea. Downloaded from on 04/02/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/02/2023.