Species Action Plans Zinos Petrel (Pterodroma madeira)
This species qualifies as Endangered because it has an extremely small population breeding on six cliff ledges in the central mountain massif of Madeira. [source: Birdlife.org]
[Zinos Petrel (Pterodroma madeira) Europe 1995]
Endemic to the island of Madeira where it breeds in the central mountain massif. The breeding population is estimated to be down to a precarious 20-30 pairs. By 1960, there were so few records of this species many believed it to be extinct. It was rediscovered in 1969 by a local ornithologist, P. A. Zino, after some fascinating detective work using the tape-recorded calls of Fea’s Petrel. Immediately following the rediscovery the newly found breeding ledges were plundered by a visiting (and accredited) specimen- and egg-collector who took three adult breeding birds and six eggs. At a later date the eggs of Fea’s Petrel and Zino’s Petrel in the collection of the Museu Municipal do Funchal were also stolen. The reduced breeding colony remained under discrete study in an attempt not to publicise the breeding location which might again fall foul of collectors. In 1986 the colony was found not to be breeding successfully due to predation by rats. As a result a Freira Conservation Project was set up with outside help to try and contain the rat problem. The situation was further aggravated in 1990 when a cat (or cats) killed 10 adults, possibly breeding birds, on one ledge. Despite current efforts the position of these beautiful birds is still very precarious and they need all the help available to save them from extinction.
FRANCIS ZINO, BORJA HEREDIA and MANUEL J. BISCOITO (1995). ACTION PLAN FOR ZINO’S PETREL (Pterodroma madeira)