Leach's Petrel (Leach's Storm-Petrel)
Distribution Britain 10 (+11.1%) Ireland 1 (0%)
Numbers breeding: Britain 50,000 ?? Ireland 500 ??
European status: 140,000 ?? (25% in Britain and Ireland =2)
British population trend: unknown poor?
This petrel is a bit bigger than the Storm Petrel and even more enigmatic! Very few breeding sites are known and more may be undiscovered. Most colonies are on remote offshore Western Scottish islands though there are two small colonies in Ireland (Mayo and possibly Donegal). The Flannans may have several hundred or thousand pairs but St Kilda is the powerhouse with many thousands. Here Great Skua predation (see Storm Petrel above) is calculated to have killed 14,850 in 1996. This must be damaging as the birds have not had any equivalent adult predation to cope with in recent history. Prospects dismal with almost all the bird's breeding at locations colonised by Great Skuas.
Phillips, R.A., Thompson, D.R. & Hamer, K.C. 1999 J. Appl. Ecol.: 36, 218-232.
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead