Yelkouan Shearwater

Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) is a member of the Procellariidae family; a real seabird who spends almost its whole life-cycle in the open seas.  Members of this family are so diverse, ranging from the large albatrosses to very tiny storm petrels. The most important common feature that these species share is a pair of tube like nostrils on their beak which allows them to filter salt. This feature enables these seabirds to live in the open seas for long periods without any need to fresh water.

The Yelkouan Shearwater is a medium-sized seabird with blackish brown upper parts and almost entirely white under parts which contrasting very sharp when they seen flying. A very common behavior of this species is they fly with rapid wing beats and very close to the sea surface. It breeds on coastal cliffs and offshore islands in the Mediterranean, the main colonies are concentrated in the central Mediterranean. In the non-breeding season, it either stays in Mediterranean or disperses within Black-Sea. Yelkouan’s diet mainly consists of small fish and squids up to 30m depth. They can also dive to catch fish.

When it comes to global population assessment, figures point to a total of 46,000-92,000 individuals. This species has been up-listed to Vulnerable as it is estimated to be undergoing a rapid population decline, caused by extremely low breeding success and adult survival owing to fisheries by-catch and predation by introduced mammals.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.