Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro
Recent studies based on morphology, vocalizations and molecular phylogenetics suggest that Madeiran Storm Petrel represents a complex of species. Populations in the Azores which breed sympatrically but in different seasons differ from each other in morphology, have different calls, discriminate among these calls, and further differ in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellite loci (Monteiro & Furness 1998, Bolton 2007, Friesen et al. 2007, Smith et al. 2007, Bolton et al. 2008, Robb et al. 2008). In addition, there are differences in ecology and moult (Monteiro & Furness 1998, Bolton et al. 2008). The concordance of these patterns of variation strongly indicates that these two populations have unique evolutionary histories, and are genetically and demographically distinct. The hot season breeding birds have recently been named O. monteiroi (Bolton et al. 2008). Storm petrels breeding on the Cape Verde Islands have very different calls from those in the Azores, and are highly divergent in mtDNA (more so than the sympatric O. monteiroi and O. castro, or indeed any other population in this complex). The evidence indicates that there are at least three population lineages in the Western Palearctic which are best treated as species.
- Cape Verde Storm Petrel Oceanodroma jabejabe (monotypic) (endemic to the Cape Verde Islands)
- Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro (monotypic) (hot-season breeders in Madeira and the Selvagens; also provisionally includes cool-season breeders in the Azores, Madeira, the Selvagens, and islands off Portugal)
- Monteiro’s Storm Petrel Oceanodroma monteiroi (monotypic) (hot-season breeders in the Azores)
Studies of vocalizations and phylogeography suggest that there are multiple lineages outside the Western Palearctic which should also be treated as species (Bolton 2007, Friesen et al. 2007, Smith et al. 2007).
There is a single British record of ‘Madeiran Storm Petrel’ sensu lato (off Isles of Scilly, 28 July 2007; British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) 2012).