Chick photos renew hope for endangered Caribbean seabird

Black-capped Petrels, at one point, were an abundant species, spending most of their lives flying over oceans. However, they were believed to be extinct in the 1800s due to overharvesting, habitat loss, and introduced predators. In 1963, a few sightings and nest discoveries gave hope that the species was still around.

James Goetz, a DNR graduate student working with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, helped lead a project last year in Haiti to search for the mysterious species. Using a motion-activated camera, Goetz and the team tracked the nest of a black-capped Petrel nest and were able to see how the species lived.

The once abundant species most likely now has only 2,000 breeding pairs, although this is the best case scenario. Goetz has hope that they have found the nesting site early enough to attempt to save the endangered species from extinction. Because the nest was found in Haiti, there is concern for loss of habitat since the poverty in the area causes a lot of natural resource depletion.

Regardless, Goetz and the rest of the group wish to gather more information that can be used to ensure that the black-capped Petrel stays in existence.

Read the full article on Round Robin, the Lab of Ornithology’s blog.