The Pink-footed Shearwater (Ardenna creatopus) is a seabird with a breeding range restricted to three islands in Chile and an estimated world population of approximately 56,000 breeding individuals (Muñoz 2011, Oikonos unpublished data). Due to multiple threats on breeding colonies and at-sea, Pink-footed Shearwaters are listed as Endangered by the government of Chile (Reglamento de Clasificación de Especies, 2011), Threatened by the government of Canada (Environment Canada 2008), and are listed under Appendix 1 of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP 2013).
A principal conservation concern for the species is mortality from fisheries bycatch during the breeding and non-breeding seasons; thus, identification of areas of overlap between at-sea use by Pink-footed Shearwaters and fisheries is a high priority conservation objective (Hinojosa Sáez and Hodum 1997, Mangel et al. 2013, ACAP 2013). During the non-breeding period, Pink-footed Shearwaters range as far north as Canada, although little was known until recently about migration routes and important wintering areas where fisheries bycatch could be a risk. Additionally, Pink-footed Shearwaters face at-sea threats during the non-breeding season off the west coast of North America. Recently, areas used by wintering Pink-footed Shearwaters have been identified as areas of interest for developing alternative energy offshore in North America (e.g., floating wind generators; Trident Winds 2016). The goal of our study was to track Pink-footed Shearwater post-breeding movements with satellite tags to identify timing and routes of migration, locate important non-breeding foraging habitats, and determine population distribution among different wintering regions.