Poorly Known Species

The following table indicates the geographic region inhabited by a variety of species about which so little is known that they are unlikely to be found in any geographic queries. Users fishing in these areas should be aware that these species may also be at risk in their fisheries. Furthermore, any bycaught specimens that could possibly be any of these species would be of particular interest to the scientific community, and should be photographed and documented. 

See our page on Identifying Dead Seabirds for more on what to collect for specimens of unknown species.  


Poorly known species unlikely to show up in spatial searches due to small range sizes.

Species IUCN Status Geographic Region Notes
Southwest Pacific

Pterodroma occulta

Vanuatu Petrel

NE*

Southwest Pacific: Northern Vanuatu

Virtually no range known

Pseudobulweria becki

Beck’s Petrel

CR

Southwest Pacific: Solomon Islands

Poorly known

Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi

Fiji Petrel

CR

Southwest Pacific: Fiji

Virtually no range known

Puffinus heinrothi

Heinroth’s Shearwater

VU

Southwest Pacific: Papua New Guinea

Poorly known

Fregetta maoriana

New Zealand Storm Petrel

CR

Southwest Pacific: New Zealand

Range is speculation

South and South Central Pacific

Pterodroma magentae

Magenta Petrel

CR

South Pacific: Chatham Islands, New Zealand and waters east

Poorly known

Pterodroma atrata

Henderson Petrel

EN

South Central Pacific: Henderson Island

Difficulty separating from P. heraldica: little known about pelagic range

Southeast Pacific

Oceanites pincoyae

Pincoya Storm Petrel

DD

Southeast Pacific: Puerto Montt, Chile

Recently described (2013), poorly known

North Pacific

Puffinus bryani

Bryan’s Shearwater

CR

North Pacific: Bonin Islands, Japan, Midway Island, Hawaii, USA

Not yet confirmed at sea, and known mostly from skins and dead specimens

Puffinus bannermani

Bannerman’s Shearwater EN

North Pacific:  Bonin Islands, Japan

Poorly known

Onychoprion aleuticus

Aleutian Tern

LC

Pacific: Alaska, Southeast Asia

Poorly known, non-breeding range has very few records

East and Southeast Asia

Thalasseus bernsteini

Chinese Crested Tern

CR

East Asia: East China Sea

Known only from two islands, at-sea range unknown

Ichthyaetus relictus

Relict Gull

VU

East Asia: East China Sea

Poorly known

Onychoprion aleuticus

Aleutian Tern

LC

Pacific: Alaska, Southeast Asia

Poorly known, non-breeding range has very few records

Atlantic

Oceanodroma monteiroi

Monteiro’s Storm Petrel

VU

Eastern Atlantic: Azores, Portugal

Poorly known

Indian Ocean

Pseudobulweria aterrima

Mascarene Petrel

CR

Western Indian Ocean: Réunion Island

Virtually no range known: known only from light strikes on Réunion

*NE= Not Evaluated