Unsorted Wild Birds

Providence Petrels

Providence Petrels

The Providence Petrels (Pterodroma solandri) is a species that burrows in one location; isolated Lord Howe Island, some 800km from the Australian mainland in the Tasman Sea.

Of rough pigeon-like proportions (40cm), the bird was once also numerous on Norfolk Island (to Australia).

However, its population here was consumed by starving epicurean transportees, sent to Norfolk Island as a way of punishment.

Nonetheless, it numbers some 100,000 on Lord Howe.

Graceful and supple in flight, the Providence Petrel has a cumbersome propensity on the ground, making it vulnerable to attack by predators.

Despite its reasonably copious strength of numbers, the Providence Petrel is deemed to be in a precarious disposition because its breeding is confined to two mountain tops and one tiny islet, and is therefore at great risk from a catastrophe.

This species is classified as vulnerable. The main causes of death are predation by the endangered Lord Howe Rail and flooding of burrows. Other dangers include rat predation and drowning in longline fishing gear. The current population is estimated at 64,000.

The scientific name of this species was given in honour of the Swedish botanist Daniel Solander, Solander’s Petrel being an alternative common name.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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