Dr John Warham - People - Biological Sciences - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

A Bibliography Of The Procellariiformes Or Petrels

John Warham


This listing of publications in the style of ZOOLOGICAL RECORD (1864- ) on albatrosses, shearwaters and other petrels, is intended to be imported into the users' own PC for searching by their own systems.  I have stopped adding papers from the journals later than 1995 unless in very 'way-out' periodicals or places, the time scale being from Aristotle to 1995 incl., but the user can add later publications as required.  Many books and symposia volumes post-1995 with information on petrels have, however, been included.

TWO files are essential:

  1. the main text file listing 14,387 papers and books alphabetically by authors' names; PDF (4 mb), WORD (16 mb)
  2. and a file giving the keywords used to describe the contents of each publication. PDF (30kb) , WORD (80kb)

Many hands have transcribed this material so typographic errors have crept in - hopefully most will have been corrected here.

Only published material is included.  Unpublished theses are omitted (although published abstracts are if containing data), and so are most field guides.  Scientific names mainly follow those given by Jouanin & Mougin in the 2nd edition of "Birds of the World" (vol.2., 1979).  Subspecific names are not keyworded separately partly owing to past name-splitting and partly because of uncertainties about the validity and relationships of many taxa.  To some extent subspecies references could be found from a combined search for the species name and an appropriate geographical one.  For example, a search of D. melanophrys + Campbell I. would throw up many, but by no means all, citations for D. m.impavida, as this bird only breeds there.  In searching via keywords note spellings, e.g. FEEDING:BEHAVIOUR, and constructions, e.g. S. AMERICA [PACIFIC]: using S. AMERICA[PACIFIC] may not work.

The fields used are:

  1. AUTHor;
  2. DATE;
  3. TITLe;
  4. SOJL (journal or book);
  5. SUBJect keywords;
  6. GEOGraphical keywords;
  7. PALAeontological keywords;
  8. SYSTematic keywords
  9. VALUe (a rating on the scale of 1-3 with 1 being a major contribution, 3 a minor one)
  10. Number.

The VALUe gradings of a citation's usefulness to today's zoologists have been allotted at the time of entry into the data base.  This has been going on since 1980, so quite a few citations then graded as 1 or 2 would have been downgraded had they been entered today(2006), more recent work having improved on the earlier studies.  And as each citation was automatically numbered when entered into the databank, entries are not numbered from start to finish.

Little attempt has been many to assess the accuracy of the information in these various publications.  In particular, it should not be assumed that identifications, particularly of birds at sea, are always correct.  Many earlier papers were either not refereed or inadequately so by today's standards.  It is not always possible to determine to what species some early writers were referring.  Here, and elsewhere where identification down to species was impossible, the keyword is shown as, e.g. Puffinus sp., etc.

Many seabird workers, librarians and granting agencies have helped in amassing the material – too many to acknowledge individually. However, a special “thank you” is due to the interloan librarians at the University of Canterbury and to the librarian at the Alexander Library in Oxford University.

 Initially a Prime 250 computer was used and in the result there are no diacritical marks, while italics are indicated by lower case letters.  The work is intended to be made available without charge. Many of the reprints and xeroxes are in the Alexander Library of the Edward Grey Institute housed in the Oxford University Zoology Dept.

Christchurch, July 2006.