Family Petrels, Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Critically Endangered

Mascarene Petrel (Pseudobulweria aterrima)


French: Pétrel de Bourbon German: Maskarenensturmvogel Spanish: Petrel de Reunión
Other common names: Mascarene Black Petrel, Reunion Petrel

Procellaria aterrima


, 1857,



Considered by some authors to be race of P. rostrata; external morphology and skeletal aspects indicate close relationship. Monotypic.


Reunion I and surrounding seas; subfossil remains suggest that it formerly occurred on nearby Rodrigues. An adult recorded on Mauritius in Sept 2002#R.

Descriptive notes

35–36 cm; 174–270 g; wingspan 88 cm. Uniformly dark petrel with rather bulky bill, gap between raised tubenose and swollen bill tip gives pinched appearance to... read more


Whistling calls mentioned in literature, with peak calling activity recorded between 25 Dec and 30... read more


Very little known. Marine and probably pelagic; has been tentatively linked with cool waters.... read more

Food and feeding

No information available, but has recently been observed scavenging at surface on floating offal.


Very few data available. Overall season approximately Nov–Mar (but is present offshore from at least Jul–Sept), with incubation... read more


Few data available, other than a single record from Mauritius of a roadkilled bird in Black River... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Recently rediscovered (see Family Text): known from ten specimens (most of them subsequently lost) taken in 19th century, two more in early 1970s and a... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Mascarene Petrel (Pseudobulweria aterrima). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 February 2020).