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Broughton Islands, NSW Australia, yield three Goulds Petrel breeding sites.

Gould's Petrel - Pterodroma leucoptera - one of Australia’s rarest seabirds,  is a small petrel, 30 cm long with a wingspan of about 70 cm. It is largely grey above and white below with a blackish crown and hindneck and a black M-shaped band across the wings and rump.

It nests in burrows on steep mountainsides. On Cabbage Tree Island it nests among rocks or among the roots and fallen fronds of the Cabbage Tree palms. Outside the breeding season, it disperses into the open seas of the subtropical and tropical Pacific, occurring as far east as the Galapagos Islands. It is threatened by introduced predators such as rats, cats and pigs. On Cabbage Tree island, grazing by rabbits altered the vegetation, making the birds more vulnerable to predation.

The undoubted highlight was the discovery of a population of the Vulnerable Gould’s Petrel breeding at three separate sites on Little Broughton Island. With populations formerly in serious decline and listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act, the species had also been discovered during the previous summer breeding on Broughton Island itself. Before that, the birds had only been recorded nesting on Cabbage Tree Island and Boondelbah Island, about 12 km to the south-west. The discovery of extra breeding islands is a boon for the conservation of the species.

Sharing the island group with the petrels were 100,000 pairs of Wedge-tailed Shearwater, as well as nesting Short-tailed Shearwater and White-faced Storm-Petrel, Crested Tern and Silver Gull.

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