In 2016, EPIC used marine radar to search for Black-capped Petrel activity in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The scientific team included staff from EPIC and the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust. Using radar, the team detected six petrel-like targets on the south slopes of the Blue Mountains, in the vicinity of the Cinchona Botanical Gardens. However, the radar signals could not be verified by sight or sound and future attempts are necessary to definitively prove whether Black-capped Petrels are present in Jamaica.
Expeditions to find Black-capped Petrels are important because they are one of the most endangered Caribbean seabird species, and their numbers have been declining over the previous 150 years. Scientists estimate that only 1,000-2,000 pairs of petrels remain. Although they historically nested on Jamaica, they are currently known to nest only on the island of Hispaniola. The dire conservation status of the Black-capped Petrel has prompted its listing by various authorities as Endangered (IUCN 2011), and Critically Endangered by the Society for the Study and Conservation of Caribbean Birds (Schreiber and Lee 2000). In addition, the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan considers the species to be Highly Imperiled, making it an official Focal Species of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).