Published on 29 January 2013 in News and comment

Bill Bourne has contacted us and, as he says: ‘One does not see possible photos of extinct birds every day…’ He continues:

‘A report by Jim Morrison ( of trial observations from ferries between the Canaries includes a string of photos of a black-and-white Manx-type shearwater which requires identification. I have seen all the currently recognised Atlantic species, and it matches none of them in build and the distribution of its markings, which raises the question whether it can be the lost Lava Shearwater of the eastern Canaries supposedly exterminated following human colonisation (McMinn et al. 1990; Rando & Alcover 2008; Ranirez et al. 2010).

[Dominic Mitchell has helpfully pointed out that the observer was Marcel Gil Velasco.]

Comments welcome…

McMinn, M., Jaume, D. & Alcover, J.A. 1990. Puffinus olsoni n.sp.: nova especie de baldritja recentment extinguida provinente de deposits espeleologics de Fuerteventura i Lanzarote (Iles Canaries, Atlantic Oriental). Endins 16: 63-71.

Ramirez, O., Illera, J.C., Rando, J.C., Gonzalez-Solis, J., Alcover, J.A. and Lalueza-Fox, C. 2010. Ancient DNA of the extinct Lava Shearwater (Puffinus olsoni) from the Canary Islands reveals incipient differentiation within the P. puffinus complex. PLoS ONE 5(12): e16072. dol: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016072

Rando, J. C., & Alcover, J. A. 2008. Evidence for a second western Palaearctic seabird extinction during the last Millennium: the Lava Shearwater Puffinus olsoni. Ibis 150: 188-192.