Markham's Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma markhami

  • Order: Procellariiformes
  • Family: Hydrobatidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Jacob Drucker and Alvaro Jaramillo
Sections

Priorities for Future Research

The main goal of future research for Markham's Storm-Petrel species is to search for and discover other breeding grounds. Strong evidence in the form of mummies, roadkills, and grounded nestlings, and a flying adult (Brooke 2004), suggests that this species likely breeds in the salt expanses, canyons and coast hills of the Atacama desert, extending from southern Peru to northern Chile. Searches for colonies should be focused around Iquique, Chile, where the most evidence has been found. Searches should involve thorough surveys through potential habitat (Distribution) in search of evidence of these storm-petrels such as tracks, feathers, excrement, predator pellets containing storm-petrel bones and feathers (Brooke 2000), and the musty smell given off by many petrels and storm-petrels. Listening for adults and young calling from burrows or overhead at night is also essential.

Alternatively, nests could be discovered by tracking birds with technology such as radio and satellite tags, and geolocators. However, neither radio or satellite tags are small enough yet to be put on a bird as small as a storm-petrel, and geolocators need to be recovered to download data. As finding an individal tagged bird at sea is extremely difficult, using geolocators to uncover the nesting colonies would be nearly impossible. However, once colonies are found, geolocators would be an optimal way to record birds annual movements, as storm-petrels tend to be philopatric.

A better understanding of how offshore fishing effects this species is also necessary.

Recommended Citation

Drucker, J. and A. Jaramillo (2013). Markham's Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma markhami), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.maspet.01