In late June, SPEA staff visited Praia islet off Graciosa Island in the Azores, to monitor the Monteiro Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma monteiroi) population. As it is only known to breed in two islet off Graciosa Island in the Azores, this seabird species with a very small population, is currently deemed as “vulnerable” and therefore highly susceptible to stochastic events, as well as potential introduction of invasive alien species (mainly mouse, rats and cats), and avian predators.
So far, in this first visit, there were 70 occupied nests accounted for, some of them already with a chick. Two more visits will be made this year to the islets of Graciosa. Baixo islet was also visited with the same purpose and also to access the impact of Yellow-legged Gull predation over the species. SPEA has recently taken up the responsibility of being BirdLife International’s “Monteiro Strom Petrel Species Guardian”, and this was its first visit under this new role.
Tomorrow the team will depart for Graciosa again, for a ringing campaign in Baixo islet.