The Zino Petrel (Pterodroma madeira), which is also known as the Madeira Freira , is an endemic seabird to Madeira (a Portuguese island in the Atlantic ocean, 973 kilometres from Lisbon ) and they are one of the most threatened bird species in Europe; and conceivably the world (Anonymous(1), 2014; Anonymous(3), 2013; Zino, et al., 2001a; Zino, et al., 1995; Fagundes, 2014; Zino, et al., 1996; Anonymous(2), 2011; Zino, et al., 2001b; Anonymous(5), n.d.; Unknown, 2014). This species was first discovered by Padre Ernesto Schmitz, a German naturalist priest, in 1903 but was mistakenly recorded as a Fea Petrel (Pterodroma feae). In 1934, Gregory Mathews stated that the Pterodromas found on Madeira and its neighbouring island should be considered subspecies while furthermore, in 1975, Paul Alexander Zino proposed the subspecies get separated. DNA studies performed with blood samples from Zino Petrel and Fea Petrel confirmed Paul Zino’s proposal and they are now regarded as distinct species. Zino Petrel belongs to the Procellariidae family (Anonymous(3), 2013; Zino, et al., 1995; Fagundes, 2014; Zino, et al., 1996; Zino, et al., 2001a).
The Zino Petrel can only be found on the island of Madeira. They can be found at Pico do Arieiro, which is 1 818 metres above sea level and known to be the third highest point on the island of Madeira; and the central mountain massif of Madeira, which is about 1 600 metres above sea level. The birds prefer nesting areas that are high and flora rich because these areas are inaccessible to grazing animals which destroy their nests (Anonymous(4), n.d.; Zino, et al., 1995; Anonymous(3), 2013; Fagundes, 2014; Zino, et al., 1996; Zino, et al., 2001; Zino, et al., 2001; Anonymous(5), n.d.). The Zino Petrel spends most of their time out at sea and they only return to land overnight. The birds return to their nesting spots in late March or early April (Anonymous(5), n.d.; Anonymous(1), 2014). Where the birds go during their migratory months is still unknown (Anonymous(5), n.d.).
Zino Petrel can grow to about 33 centimeters and can have a wingspan between 78 to 83 centimeters. They have a white lower body ; grey tail; and their wings and the top of their bodies are dark grey. Their bill length can be as long as 25 millimeters and can be as high as 12 millimeters (Anonymous(5), n.d.; Fagundes, 2014).
The Zino Petrel have nesting grounds on the high mountains of Madeira (Pico do Arieiro and the central mountain massif). During courting, all the birds assemble in one area and make repeated calls and the courting occurs during the late evening through to early morning. The birds make their nests from strands of grass. The birds can reproduce many times throughout their lifetime but each female lays one egg at a time. They return to their breeding spots in late March and the eggs are laid between mid-May and mid-June. The hatching of eggs occurs at the end of July through to...