- Short-tailed Shearwater
name = Short-tailed Shearwater
status = LC | status_system = IUCN3.1
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
genus = "
species = "P. tenuirostris
binomial = "Puffinus tenuirostris"
binomial_authority = (Temminck, 1835)
The Short-tailed Shearwater "Puffinus tenuirostris", or Yolla, more commonly known as the
muttonbirdin Australia, is the most abundant seabirdspecies in Australian waters, and is one of the few Australian native birds that is commercially harvested. It is a migratory species that breeds mainly on small islands in Bass Straitand Tasmaniaand migrates to the Northern Hemispherefor the boreal summer. It is worth noting that in New Zealandthe Sooty Shearwateris the local 'muttonbird', and other harvested petrel species, such as the Wedge-tailed Shearwater, may be known as muttonbirds elsewhere.
This species appears to be related to the New Zealand muttonbird and the
Great Shearwater, all blunt-tailed, black-billed species, but its precise relationships are obscure (Austin, 1996; Austin "et al"., 2004). These are among the larger species of shearwater which might belong into a separate genus, "Ardenna" (Penhallurick & Wink, 2004).
Each parent feeds the single chick for 2–3 days and then leaves for up to three weeks in search of food. These foraging trips can cover a distance of 15,000 km (9,300 mi) and mean the chick may be left unattended for over a week. When the chicks fledge they weigh around 900 g (2 lb), and may be heavier than their parents. In Tasmania, and especially on the muttonbird islands of the
Furneaux Group, the chicks are harvested at this time for food and oil.
Each austral winter, the Shearwaters migrate to the seas off the
Aleutian Islandsand Kamchatka. In the austral spring, they travel down the coast of Californiabefore crossing the Pacificback to Australia.
* Austin, Jeremy J. (1996): Molecular Phylogenetics of "Puffinus" Shearwaters: Preliminary Evidence from Mitochondrial Cytochrome "b" Gene Sequences. "Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution" 6(1): 77–88. DOI|10.1006/mpev.1996.0060 (HTML abstract)
* Austin, Jeremy J.; Bretagnolle, Vincent & Pasquet, Eric (2004): A global molecular phylogeny of the small "Puffinus" shearwaters and implications for systematics of the Little-Audubon's Shearwater complex. "Auk" 121(3): 847–864. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121 [0847:AGMPOT] 2.0.CO;2 [http://www.bioone.org/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1642%2F0004-8038%282004%29121%5B0847%3AAGMPOT%5D2.0.CO%3B2 HTML abstract]
* Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* Penhallurick, John & Wink, Michael (2004): Analysis of the taxonomy and nomenclature of the Procellariformes based on complete nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome "b" gene. "Emu" 104(2): 125-147. DOI|10.1071/MU01060 (HTML abstract)
Gillson, Greg (2008) Field separation of Sooty and Short-tailed Shearwaters off the west coast of North America "Birding" 40(2):34-40
*Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania: [http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/wildlife/birds/muttbird.html Birds of Tasmania: Short-Tailed Shearwater, "Puffinus tenuirostris"]
Port Fairywebsite: [http://www.port-fairy.com/shearwaters.htm Griffiths Island Shearwater Colony]
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