Protection Denied to Ashy-Storm Petrel

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a 12 month review of a petition from Center for Biological Diversity to list the Ashy-storm petrel as endangered, finding that such a listing is not warranted at this time.

     The petrel is a small sea-bird that lives on islands off the coasts of California and Mexico, particularly California’s Farallon Islands, and is known to live as long as 31 years. A nocturnal hunter, the petrel has been threatened by illumination from fishing boats and offshore oil operations which interfere with the bird’s natural feeding cycle, making it more vulnerable to predation during the day.
     In denying the Center’s petition, Fish and Wildlife found that there was insufficient scientific evidence that ocean acidification has had a negative impact on the krill on which the petrel feeds. The agency also determined that previous actions to prevent light pollution at petrel nesting sites, such as a limit on allowable wattage, and prohibitions on night fishing near large nesting sites, are sufficient counter measures to protect the nocturnal hunting of the petrel.

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