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The New Caledonian petrel

  • Publication Type

    Journal Article

  • Publication Year


  • Author(s)

    Imber, M.J., Jenkins, J.A.F.

  • Journal Name


  • Volume, Issue

    28, 3

  • Pagination


  • Article Type



New Caledonian petrel, Pterodroma leucoptera caledonica, measurements, migration

The New Caledonian petrel

Notornis, 28 (3), 149-160

Imber, M.J., Jenkins, J.A.F. (1981)

Article Type: Paper



When Pterodroma leucoptera was first recorded from New Zealand in 1942, the 10 beach-cast specimens were recognised as being distinct from Gould’s Petrel (P. I. leucoptera), mainly because of their larger average dimensions. Their origin was unknown. Since then 10 more have been reported. Between 1971 and 1979, during studies of petrels in New Caledonia, R. de Naurois discovered populations of a form of Gould’s Petrel breeding in the mountains and gave them the name P. I. caledonica, with a brief description. A New Caledonian specimen is identical with extant New Zealand specimens. Distinguishing features of the two subspecies are discussed: definite separation probably can be made in the hand only. Recent sightings of this species in the Tasman Sea are reported. Previous reports attributable to New Caledonian Petrels are assembled: these show it to be an east-west migrant like several other petrels of this region. Gould’s Petrel should be replaced by New Caledonian Petrel in the New Zealand checklist.