July 2016
Read about the phylogenetic affinities of New Zealand white-chinned petrels and questions for conservation management.

White-chinned petrel.
White-chinned petrel
Image: Parker Conservation ©


Taxonomic unvertainty for white-chinned petrels hinders risk assessment and species management efforts, and the focus of this uncertainty is in the New Zealand region. Therefore, we tested whether any white-chinned petrel populations in the New Zealand region are distinct.

This included samples from Antipodes, Auckland and Campbell Island populations. We obtained DNA sequence data for the mitochondrial cytochromeb gene (~1143 base pairs, bp) and the nuclear untron "-fibrinogen 7th intron (~933bp). Sequences were aligned and investigated using maximum-likelihood, Bayesian and distance analyses.

These data did not support a seperate taxon for the Antipodes breeding population. The apparent lack of island-level differences in the New Zealand region may indicate a New Zealand-regional genetic management, but this should be checked with finer-scale markers.  

Publication information

Rexer-Huber, K. and Robertson, B.C. 2015. Phylogenetic affinities of New Zealand white-chinned petrels: questions for conservation management. Report prepared by University of Otago for the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington. 17p.


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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