Seabird Group Seabird Group

Three new seabird species recorded at Tristan da Cunha archipelago

Peter G. Ryan1*, Ben J. Dilley1, Michelle M. Risi2, Christopher W. Jones2, Alexis Osborne2, Andy Schofield2, Julian Repetto3 and Norman Ratcliffe4

* Correspondence author. Email:

1FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa;

2RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Sandy SG19 2DL, UK;

3Conservation Department, Government of Tristan da Cunha, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, Tristan da Cunha TDCU 1ZZ, UK (South Atlantic Ocean);

4British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK.

Full paper


The Tristan da Cunha archipelago comprises three main islands: Tristan, Inaccessible and Nightingale at 37ºS 12ºW, with Gough Island (40ºS 10ºW) the only other temperate oceanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean (Ryan 2007). Tristan and Gough are important breeding sites for 25 species of seabirds (Ryan 2008; Ryan et al. 2014; 2015; Robertson et al. 2016), and a further 30 species of non-breeding seabirds have been reported from the islands (Ryan 2007; Visser et al. 2009; Ryan 2010). We report three additional species from the islands based on observations from 2017 to 2019.


Fraser, M. W., Ryan, P. G. & Watkins, B. P. 1988. The seabirds of Inaccessible Island, South Atlantic Ocean. Cormorant 16: 7–33.

Hockey, P. A. R., Dean, W. R. J. & Ryan, P. G. (eds.) 2005. Roberts’ Birds of Southern Africa (Seventh edition). The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.

Marchant, S. & Higgins, P. J. 1990. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Robertson, B. C., Stephenson, B. M., Ronconi, R. A., Goldstien, S., Shepherd, L., Tennyson, A., Carlile, N. & Ryan, P. G. 2016. Phylogenetic affinities of the Fregetta storm-petrels are not black and white. Molecular Phylogenetics Evolution 97: 170–176. Crossref

Ropert-Coudert, Y., Hindell, M. A., Phillips, R., Charrassin, J. B., Trudelle, L. & Raymond, B. 2014. Biogeographic patterns of birds and mammals. In: De Broyer, C., Koubbi, P., Griffiths, H. J., Raymond, B., Udekem d’Acoz, C. et al. (eds.) Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean: 364–387. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Cambridge.

Ryan, P. G. (ed.) 2007. Field guide to the animals and plants of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island. Pisces Publications, Newbury.

Ryan, P. G. 2008. Important Bird Areas: Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island. British Birds 101: 586–606.

Ryan, P. G. 2010. First record of Chilean Skua Catharacta chilensis for the African region. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 17: 217–219. Crossref

Ryan, P. G. & Moloney, C. L. 1991. Prey selection and temporal variation in the diet of Subantarctic Skuas at Inaccessible Island, Tristan da Cunha. Ostrich 62: 52–58. Crossref

Ryan, P. G., Bourgeois, K., Dromzeé, S. & Dilley, B. J. 2014. The occurrence of two bill morphs of prions Pachyptila vittata on Gough Island. Polar Biology 37: 727–735. Crossref

Ryan, P. G., Dilley, B. J., Jones, C. & Bond, A. 2015. Blue Petrels breeding on Gough Island. Ostrich 89: 193–194. Crossref

Shirihai, H. 2007. A Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife. A & C Black, London.

Visser, P., Louw, H., Cuthbert, R. & Ryan, P. 2009. Salvin’s Albatross Thalassarche salvini on Gough Island, South Atlantic. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 16: 215–216. Crossref