North Atlantic Little Shearwater

North Atlantic Little Shearwater

name = North Atlantic Little Shearwater
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Procellariiformes
familia = Procellariidae
genus = "Puffinus"
species = "P. (lherminieri) baroli"
binomial = "Puffinus (lherminieri) baroli"
binomial_authority = Bonaparte, 1857

The North Atlantic Little Shearwater ("Puffinus baroli"), also known as the Macaronesian Shearwater, is a small shearwater which breeds in the North Atlantic. Two subspecies are recognised, "P. b. baroli" of Madeira and the Canary Islands and "P. b. boydi" of the Cape Verde Islands.

Until recently, it was considered conspecific with the Little Shearwater ("Puffinus assimilis") of the Southern Hemisphere. mtDNA cytochrome "b" sequence analysis (Austin "et al.", 2004) indicates, however, that "baroli" and "boydi" are very close to the nominate subspecies of Audubon's Shearwater. Whether the morphological distinctness and the non-overlapping ranges, or the genetic similarity [Note that mtDNA is of somewhat dubious value for species-level taxonomic revisions in Procellariiformes, due to these birds' long lifespan and some genetic peculiarities. "See also" Rheindt & Austin (2005).] are considered to be more significant is presently a matter of opinion, and the taxonomical status of these birds remains equivocal. Although some institutions (such as BirdLife International) currently retain the forms "baroli" and "boydi" within Little Shearwater, this is as a result of inaccurate lumping in the past, and is not supported by modern evidence. The BOU has recently accepted "P. baroli" as a distinct species (Sangster et al 2005).

The binomial name commemorates the Italian Carlo Barolo.

Features which distinguish the North Atlantic Little Shearwater from the Manx Shearwater and other North Atlantic "Puffinus" species include the pale face, silvery panel in the upperwings, shorter more rounded wings, and blue feet (McGeehan & Mullarney 1995, Martin & Rowlands 2001).



* Austin, Jeremy J.; Bretagnolle, Vincent & Pasquet, Eric (2004): A global molecular phylogeny of the small "Puffinus" shearwaters and implications for systematics of the Little-Audubon's Shearwater complex. "Auk" 121(3): 847–864. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121 [0847:AGMPOT] 2.0.CO;2 [ HTML abstract]

* Collinson, M. (2006): Splitting headaches? Recent taxonomic changes affecting the British and Western Palaearctic lists. "British Birds" 99(6): 306-323.

* Rheindt, F. E. & Austin, Jeremy J. (2005): Major analytical and conceptual shortcomings in a recent taxonomic revision of the Procellariiformes - A reply to Penhallurick and Wink (2004). "Emu" 105(2): 181-186 [ PDF fulltext]

* GEORGE SANGSTER, J. MARTIN COLLINSON, ANDREAS J. HELBIG, ALAN G. KNOX, DAVID T. PARKIN (2005) Taxonomic recommendations for British birds: third report "Ibis" 147 (4), 821–826. DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2005.00483.x


* McGeehan, Anthony and Killian Mullarney (1995) A little help "Birdwatch" 39:38-42
* Martin, John and Adam Rowlands (2001) Small Wonders "Birdwatch" 114:22-25

External links

* [ BTO BirdFacts - Macaronesian Shearwater]
* [ Madeira Birds: Macaronesian Shearwater]


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