Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus


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: #
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Near Threatened
2007 Near Threatened
2005 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Land-mass type - shelf island
Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 140,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 5,900 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 95600-108000 medium estimated 2007
Population trend Increasing good estimated -
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 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 21.3 - - -

Population justification: Chown et al. (unpubl. report 2008) estimates a population size of 54,000 pairs, whereas a total of c.47,800 pairs (roughly equating to 150,000 total individuals) can be estimated from Patterson et al. (2008) and unpublished data from Falklands Conservation and British Antarctic Survey. This consists of an estimated 19,500 pairs on the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), 5,500 pairs on South Georgia (Georgias del Sur), 5,400 pairs on South Shetland Islands (Shetland del Sur), 3,350 pairs on South Orkney Island (Orcadas del Sur) (British Antarctic Survey unpubl. data), 2,500 pairs on Heard and MacDonald Islands (DPIW unpubl. data), 2,145 pairs on Macquarie Island, 2,300 pairs in Argentina (Quintana et al. 2006), 230 pairs on the Tristan da Cunha Islands, 280 pairs on the Antarctic Continent. In addition, Patterson et al. (2008) estimate 1,190 pairs on the Antarctic Peninsula, 1,550 pairs on the South Sandwich Islands, 2,800 pairs on Prince Edward Islands (Ryan et al. 2009), 1,060 pairs on Iles Crozet and four pairs in Iles Kerguelen.

Trend justification: Recent trends are variable, with some populations continuing to decline (British Antarctic Survey unpubl. data, Patterson et al. undated), some stable (Gonzalez-Solis and Croxall 2005, Ryan et al. 2009, Cuthbert et al. 2014) and others showing substantial increases, including populations on Patagonia, Argentina (Quintana et al. 2006), the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) (Reid and Huin 2005) and South Georgia (Poncet et al. in litt. 2008). Importantly, the latter populations represent the two largest populations in the world; thus, the overall global trend is now increasing. Combining trend data for both regions (north and south of 60°S) gives a best estimate of a 17 % increase and a worst case scenario of a 7.2 % decline over the past three generations (64 years) (Chown et al. unpubl. report 2008 ), and it is precautionarily assumed here to have undergone a slow decline during this period.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Antarctica N Extant Yes
Argentina N Extant Yes
Australia N Extant Yes
Bouvet Island (to Norway) N Extinct Yes
Brazil N Extant Yes
Chile N Extant Yes
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) N Extant Yes
Fiji V Extant Yes
French Polynesia V Extant
French Southern Territories N Extant Yes
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) N Extant Yes
High Seas N Extant Yes
Madagascar N Extant Yes
Mozambique N Extant Yes
Namibia N Extant Yes
New Zealand N Extant Yes
Norfolk Island (to Australia) N Extant Yes
Peru N Extant
Réunion (to France) V Extant
Seychelles V Extant
South Africa N Extant Yes
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands N Extant Yes
St Helena (to UK) N Extant Yes
Uruguay N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Antarctica Signy Island
Antarctica Southern Powell Island and adjacent islands
Argentina Cabo Vírgenes
Argentina Estuario del Río Coyle
Argentina Estuario del Río Gallegos
Argentina Isla de los Estados, Islas de Año Nuevo e islotes adyacentes
Argentina Islas Georgias del Sur
Argentina Islas Malvinas
Argentina Islas Sandwich del Sur
Argentina Norte del Golfo San Jorge
Argentina Parque Nacional Monte León
Argentina Ría Deseado e islas adyacentes
Argentina Villa marítima El Cóndor
Australia Macquarie Island
Chile Corriente de Humboldt Arica
Chile Guamblin Island
Chile Isla Magdalena National Park
Chile Isla Noir
Chile Islas Diego Ramírez y Rocas Norte
Chile Quinchele Inland and surrouding sea
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Beaver Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Bleaker Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Elephant Cays Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Jason Islands Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Lively Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Passage Islands Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Pebble Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Sea Lion Islands Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Speedwell Island Group
French Southern Territories Île de l'Est
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) Heard and McDonald Islands
High Seas Atlantic, Southwest 47 - Marine
Peru Reserva Nacional de Paracas
South Africa Prince Edward Islands Special Nature Reserve
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia - mainland, islands, islets and stacks
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Sandwich Islands
Uruguay Atlantic Ocean and Rio de la Plata mouth

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subantarctic major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major 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 - 300 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%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Geological events Volcanoes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Past Impact
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Macronectes giganteus. Downloaded from on 28/03/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/03/2020.