Pincoya Storm Petrel Discovery – 10th Anniversary!
Posted by Peter Harrison
in Of Interest
Ten Years Ago, Peter Harrison Discovers the Pincoya Storm Petrel
In February 2011, Peter Harrison organized and led the five-person international expedition team that made this remarkable discovery in Seno de Reloncavi, just south of Puerto Montt, Chile. Their discovery marked the first identification of a new petrel in 89 years and the first new species of seabird in 55 years. The new species, Pincoya Storm Petrel, Oceanites pincoyae, was named after the Pincoya, a Chilotan sea goddess who is said to be kind to mariners of the region. By naming the new species after a local deity, it was hoped that this would encourage the local population to protect and conserve their isolated region.
Apexers Seek the Pincoya Storm Petrel
In March 2015, an Apex expedition brought travelers to Puerto Montt in southern Chile. In this never-before-seen footage, Peter leads a small group of seabirders in hopes of seeing the Pincoya Storm Petrel. You can just feel their excitement as the group heads out on the water to make their first Pincoya sighting.
A Rare Opportunity
On this 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Pincoya Storm Petrel, Peter reflects on what was one of the biggest events of his professional life. And now as his latest book, SEABIRDS: The New Identification Guide, is nearing its launch date, Peter remarks on what a rare opportunity this has been as an artist to paint a species that he himself discovered.