Volume 48, No. 1

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High apparent survival of adult Leach's Storm Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa in British Columbia


1Simon Fraser University, Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
2Wildlife Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 5421 Robertson Road, Delta, BC V4K 3N2, Canada (
3Harfenist Environmental Consulting, PO Box 2498, Smithers, BC V0J 2N0, Canada


RENNIE, I.R.F., GREEN, D.J., KREBS, E.A. & HARFENIST, A. 2020. High apparent survival of adult Leach's Storm Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa in British Columbia. Marine Ornithology 48: 133 - 140

Received 04 November 2019, accepted 10 February 2020

Date Published: 2020/04/15
Date Online: 2019/03/30
Key words: apparent survival, capture-mark-recapture, Leach's Storm Petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa, British Columbia


Leach's Storm Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa were listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN in 2018. Population declines in the western North Atlantic are associated with low annual adult survival rates, but trends and vital rates of populations in the eastern North Pacific are poorly known. To address this knowledge gap, we estimated the annual apparent survival of breeding adults at two colonies off the coast of British Columbia (Rock Islets: 52°20′40″N, 131°14′10″W and Cleland Island: 49°10′17″N, 126°05′28″W), using capture-mark-recapture data collected between 2006 and 2010. Transient models received substantially more support than standard Cormack-Jolly-Seber models, suggesting that the initial capture and banding reduced burrow fidelity. The model-averaged annual apparent survival rates for both colonies were high (estimate for each colony = 0.975 ± 0.011), compared to rates reported for colonies in the western North Atlantic (< 0.80). Capture effects reduced annual apparent survival estimates for the first year after capture by ca. 6 %. Higher apparent adult survival at colonies in the eastern North Pacific may be due to lower exposure to direct and indirect anthropogenic stressors while foraging (specifically, marine oil and gas infrastructure) and reduced avian predation by gulls at breeding colonies. The high survival rates we found suggests that eastern North Pacific populations of Leach's Storm Petrels are under less stress than those in the western North Atlantic.


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