Research and conservation of seabirds are inextricably linked. Many seabird taxa are rare or threatened, often species which are ecologically very interesting and merit study. The Peruvian Divingpetrel Pelecanoides garnoti is probably the least known divingpetrel. It also breeds much farther north than its more well known congeners and may well have a very different biology from them. Perhaps even more intriguing is that there are two species of stormpetrels for which the breeding sites are unknown, but are thought to be in South American deserts. How do they cope with hard ground and heat? The stormpetrels may not be rare or endangered, but the Peruvian Divingpetrel is thought to be threatened by the depredations of man at their breeding sites and by the effects of mortality in fishing nets.
The problems of the Peruvian Divingpetrel and of many other seabirds are discussed in a publication shortly to appear: "The Status and Conservation of the World's Seabirds", being the results of a workshop held at Cambridge, U.K. in 1982, under the auspices of the International Council for Bird Preservation (see A.J. Williams 1982, Cormorant 10: 127-132). All marine ornithologists should obtain this volume: it will tell them as much about what needs to be studied as what needs to be conserved.
Another outcome of the 1982 workshop was that an ICBP Seabird Specialist Group (SSG) was set up, now chaired by Ralph W. Schreiber (see his appeal elsewhere in this issue). The SSG intends to function through the medium of taxonomic working groups. Your editor is chairman of the SSG Pelecaniform Working Group, supported by members each responsible for one or two genera. I hope future issues of Cormorant will be able to tell you more about the SSG and its activities. Meanwhile, we, like you, await the ICBP book with great interest.
The Peruvian Divingpetrel from South America mentioned above serves also to introduce readers to the new-look expanded Cormorant. Cormorant is now sub-titled "A Journal of Southern Seabirds" and is accepting material from the whole Southern Hemisphere. With a larger number of pages, right-hand justification, an international Editorial Board and more careful refereeing, I hope Cormorant will be seen as an attractive medium for publication.
I look forward to seeing your mss.