Why choose a storm petrel as a logo?
The Madeiran storm petrel (Hydrobates castro) is a symbol of the many exciting and yet unanswered research questions that exist on the Island. Including, is this a new and yet un-described endemic species to the South Atlantic or indeed to St Helena? This seabird has been shown to breed at two distinct times of year and as with other seasonally segregated populations of storm petrels, such as in the Azores, may warrant recognition as a separate species in the near future. Recent genetic analysis of the global populations of Madeiran storm petrels has indicated there are multiple distinct species within the group, including the South Atlantic (St Helena and Ascension) fuelling more speculation. There are many research questions like the case of the storm petrel still to be answered on St Helena which is why we’ve chosen to use it as our logo.
Annalea Beard is currently studying the breeding and foraging ecology of the Madeiran storm petrel (Hydrobates castro) and red-billed tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus) at Cardiff University.