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Puffinus mauretanicus (Balearic shearwater) 

Baleariese pylstormvoël [Afrikaans]; Vale pijlstormvogel [Dutch]; Puffin des Baléares [French]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Procellariidae

Puffinus mauretanicus (Balearic shearwater)   

Balearic shearwater, offshore from Spain. [photo Xavier Martínez ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds on Balearic Island, west Mediterranean Sea, dispersing across Straits of Gibraltar to North-east Atlantic Ocean. It is a rare vagrant to southern African waters, with two birds collected in False Bay in 1979 and a single bird recorded off the Cape Peninsula, Western Cape in 2000 and 2001.


Critically endangered, with a total population of roughly 4200-9200 individuals, which is decreasing rapidly due to introduced predators and exploitation by humans. Its population size is expected to decrease by 98% over the next three generations due to these factors.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.