Bryan’s shearwater

North America


Puffinus bryani


  • Predation by rats
  • Invasive plants

Bryan’s Shearwater is the smallest of its kind and is believed to exist in the Hawaiian Islands. It was only in 1963 when the first specimen samples were obtained; however, it was not until 2011 that its distinct DNA makeup confirmed that it is a separate seabird species.

Named after a former Honolulu museum creator, Edwin Horace Bryan Jr., the Bryan’s Shearwater species was found in 2015 to have a small breeding colony on the island of Higashijima in Japan.

This 150-gram bird species is vulnerable to rat attacks, with almost no defense against being hunted down and eaten. With the continued presence of these predatory rodents, the Bryan’s Shearwater population will always be in danger.

Invasive plants also threaten to replace the native grass and shrubs that serve as protective shelter for this small seabird species. The Japan government is now working out a plan to eradicate all alien vegetation to ensure the survival and population growth of the Bryan’s Shearwater.