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Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2005 Least Concern
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type continent
Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 461,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 461,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Increasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.1 - - -
Population justification: The species has a large global population estimated to be 85,000-180,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006).The estimated European population (75-94% of the global breeding range) is now 28,000-39,000 pairs, considerably higher than the 13,000 pairs estimated in 1996, with an estimated 8,000-12,000 breeding pairs in Azerbaijan and 11,500-14,000 breeding pairs in Romania (BirdLife International 2004).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Albania Native Extant     Yes Yes
Algeria Vagrant Extinct Yes      
Armenia Native Extant       Yes
Austria Native Extant   Yes    
Azerbaijan Native Extant     Yes Yes
Belarus Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant       Yes
Bulgaria Native Extant     Yes Yes
Croatia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Cyprus Native Extant   Yes    
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant        
France Vagrant Extant        
Georgia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Germany Vagrant Extant        
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Hungary Native Extant       Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Iraq Native Extant       Yes
Israel Native Extant     Yes Yes
Italy Native Extant       Yes
Jordan Native Possibly Extinct   Yes    
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kuwait Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Moldova Native Extant       Yes
Montenegro Native Extant     Yes Yes
Netherlands Vagrant Extant        
Pakistan Vagrant Extant        
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant   Yes    
Poland Vagrant Extant        
Romania Native Extant     Yes Yes
Russia (European) Native Extant     Yes Yes
Serbia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Slovakia Native Extant       Yes
Slovenia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Spain Native Extant   Yes    
Sweden Vagrant Extant        
Switzerland Vagrant Extant        
Syria Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes      
Tunisia Vagrant Extant        
Turkey Native Extant     Yes Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes Yes
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Albania Drini Delta site factsheet
Albania Karavasta Lagoon site factsheet
Albania Lake Megali Prespa site factsheet
Albania Lake Mikri Prespa site factsheet
Albania Lake Ohrid site factsheet
Albania Lake Shkodra (Lake Scadar) site factsheet
Albania Velipoja site factsheet
Armenia Armash fish-farm site factsheet
Armenia Metsamor site factsheet
Azerbaijan Aggyol National Park site factsheet
Azerbaijan Divichi liman (or Lake Akzibir) site factsheet
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve site factsheet
Azerbaijan Kura Delta site factsheet
Azerbaijan Lake Hajigabul site factsheet
Azerbaijan Lake Mahmudchala site factsheet
Azerbaijan Lake Sarysu site factsheet
Azerbaijan Lake Ych-chala (Novogolovka-chala) site factsheet
Azerbaijan Shahdidi spit site factsheet
Azerbaijan Shorgel lakes/Shirvan reserve site factsheet
Azerbaijan Varvara Reservoir site factsheet
Azerbaijan Yashma Island site factsheet
Bosnia and Herzegovina Hutovo blato site factsheet
Bulgaria Adata-Tundzha site factsheet
Bulgaria Atanasovsko Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Belene Islands Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Burgasko Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Chengene Skele site factsheet
Bulgaria Durankulak Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Gorni Dabnik-Telish Reservoir site factsheet
Bulgaria Ibisha Island site factsheet
Bulgaria Kalimok Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Konush Reservoir site factsheet
Bulgaria Lakat Island site factsheet
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Maritsa-Plovdiv site factsheet
Bulgaria Mechka Fish-ponds site factsheet
Bulgaria Orsoya Fish-ponds site factsheet
Bulgaria Ovtcharitsa Reservoir site factsheet
Bulgaria Plovdiv Fish-ponds site factsheet
Bulgaria Pozharevo Island site factsheet
Bulgaria Rozov Kladenets Reservoir site factsheet
Bulgaria Shabla Lake Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Srebarna site factsheet
Bulgaria Svishtov-Belene Lowland site factsheet
Bulgaria Varna-Beloslav Lakes Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Yatata site factsheet
Bulgaria Zlato Pole site factsheet
Croatia Alluvial wetlands of the River Danube site factsheet
Croatia Donji Miholjac fish-ponds site factsheet
Croatia Lake Vransko site factsheet
Georgia Alazani Valley site factsheet
Georgia Jandari Lake site factsheet
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas site factsheet
Greece Evros delta site factsheet
Greece Gallikos estuary and Kalochori lagoon site factsheet
Greece Kalamas delta site factsheet
Greece Kompsatos valley site factsheet
Greece Lake Chimaditis and Lake Zazaris site factsheet
Greece Lake Doirani site factsheet
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou) site factsheet
Greece Lake Kastoria (Orestiada) site factsheet
Greece Lake Kerkini site factsheet
Greece Lake Mikri Prespa and Lake Megali Prespa site factsheet
Greece Lake Vegoritis and Lake Petron site factsheet
Greece Lakes Volvi, Koroneia and Rentina Gorge site factsheet
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons site factsheet
Greece Nestos gorge site factsheet
Greece Northern Evros and Ardas riparian forest site factsheet
Greece Pinios delta site factsheet
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons site factsheet
Greece River Axios site factsheet
Greece Strymon delta site factsheet
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to site factsheet
Hungary Lake Kis-Balaton site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Amirkelayeh lake site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bandar Kiashar lagoon and mouth of Sefid Rud site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lavandavil Wildlife Refuge site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Seyed Mohalli, Zarin Kola and Larim Sara site factsheet
Iraq Central Marshes site factsheet
Iraq Haur Al Hammar site factsheet
Iraq Haur Om am Nyaj site factsheet
Israel Hula valley site factsheet
Israel Jezre'el, Harod and Bet She'an valleys site factsheet
Israel Zevulun valley site factsheet
Italy Punte Alberete and Valle della Canna, Pineta San Vitale and Pialassa della Baiona site factsheet
Kazakhstan Akzhar Lakes site factsheet
Kazakhstan Chardara Reservoir site factsheet
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan portion of the river Volga's Delta - Zhambay site factsheet
Kazakhstan Shoshkakol Lakes site factsheet
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Lake Dojran site factsheet
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Lake Ohrid site factsheet
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Lake Prespa site factsheet
Montenegro Lake Skadar site factsheet
Montenegro Ulcinj saltpans site factsheet
Romania Allah Bair - Capidava site factsheet
Romania Balta Mică a Brăilei site factsheet
Romania Balta Vederoasa site factsheet
Romania Bistreţ site factsheet
Romania Blahniţa site factsheet
Romania Braţul Borcea site factsheet
Romania Buhuşu reservoir - Bacău - Tătărăşti site factsheet
Romania Calafat - Ciuperceni - Dunăre site factsheet
Romania Comana site factsheet
Romania Confluenţa Olt - Dunăre site factsheet
Romania Cursul Dunării - Baziaş - Porţile de Fier site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Romania Dunăre - Ostroave site factsheet
Romania Gruia - Gârla Mare site factsheet
Romania Iezerul Călăraşi site factsheet
Romania Ilfov reservoir site factsheet
Romania Lake Beibugeac (Plopu) site factsheet
Romania Lake Bugeac site factsheet
Romania Lake Dunăreni site factsheet
Romania Lake Oltina site factsheet
Romania Lake Siutghiol site factsheet
Romania Lake Strachina site factsheet
Romania Lake Techirghiol site factsheet
Romania Limanu - Herghelia site factsheet
Romania Olt valley site factsheet
Romania Ostrovu Lung - Gostinu site factsheet
Romania Stânca lake - Costeşti site factsheet
Romania Suhaia site factsheet
Romania Vedea - Dunăre site factsheet
Russia (European) Achikol'skiye lakes site factsheet
Russia (European) Agrakhanski Bay (North Agrakhan) site factsheet
Russia (European) Kizlyar Bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Mekhteb reservoir site factsheet
Russia (European) Southern Agrakhan lake site factsheet
Russia (European) Turali lakes site factsheet
Russia (European) Turalinskaya lagoon site factsheet
Serbia Becej fish-pond site factsheet
Serbia Carska bara site factsheet
Serbia Derdap gorge site factsheet
Serbia Labudovo okno site factsheet
Serbia Mala Vrbica site factsheet
Serbia Obedska bara site factsheet
Serbia Usce Save u Dunav site factsheet
Slovakia River Danube flood-plain site factsheet
Slovenia River Drava site factsheet
Syria Euphrates valley site factsheet
Tajikistan Kayrakkum Reservoir site factsheet
Tajikistan Tigrovaya Balka Nature Reserve site factsheet
Turkey Akşehir and Eber Lakes site factsheet
Turkey Bafa Lake site factsheet
Turkey Bendimahi Delta site factsheet
Turkey Bulanık and Malazgirt Plains site factsheet
Turkey Büyük Menderes Delta site factsheet
Turkey Çaldıran Plain site factsheet
Turkey Eğirdir Lake site factsheet
Turkey Ereğli Plain site factsheet
Turkey Gavur Lake site factsheet
Turkey Gediz Delta site factsheet
Turkey Göksu Delta site factsheet
Turkey Güllük Bay site factsheet
Turkey Hotamış Marshes site factsheet
Turkey İğdır Plain site factsheet
Turkey Işıklı Lake site factsheet
Turkey İznik Lake site factsheet
Turkey Karkamış site factsheet
Turkey Kızılırmak Delta site factsheet
Turkey Kocaçay Delta site factsheet
Turkey Köyceğiz Lake site factsheet
Turkey Küçükçekmece Basin site factsheet
Turkey Lesser Menderes Delta site factsheet
Turkey Manyas Lake (Kuş Lake) site factsheet
Turkey Marmara Lake site factsheet
Turkey Meriç Delta site factsheet
Turkey Sapanca Lake site factsheet
Turkey Seyhan Delta site factsheet
Turkey Southern Euphrates Valley and Birecik Plains site factsheet
Turkey Sultan Marsh site factsheet
Turkey Terkos Basin site factsheet
Turkey Uluabat Lake site factsheet
Turkmenistan Deryatakyr site factsheet
Turkmenistan Gurtli site factsheet
Turkmenistan Ketteshor - Ramankol site factsheet
Turkmenistan Khankhovuz site factsheet
Turkmenistan Kopetdagkhovudan site factsheet
Turkmenistan Mergen site factsheet
Turkmenistan Muskinata site factsheet
Turkmenistan Saryyazy site factsheet
Ukraine Kagul lake site factsheet
Ukraine Kugurluj and Kartal lakes site factsheet
Ukraine River Danube site factsheet
Ukraine Snake island site factsheet
Ukraine Stentsivs'ko-Zhebriyanivs'ki plavni site factsheet
Uzbekistan Aktepe Reservoir and Three Lakes site factsheet
Uzbekistan Ayakaghytma lake and surrounding desert site factsheet
Uzbekistan Balykchi Fish Farm site factsheet
Uzbekistan Kagan Fish Farm site factsheet
Uzbekistan Karakyr Lakes site factsheet
Uzbekistan Northern shore of Aydarkul Lake site factsheet
Uzbekistan Rogatoe Lake site factsheet
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake site factsheet
Uzbekistan Tudakul and Kuymazar Reservoirs site factsheet
Uzbekistan Tuzkan Lake site factsheet
Uzbekistan Zholdyrbas Lake site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Aquaculture Ponds suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes major non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Inland Deltas major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Inland Deltas major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use / Abstraction of surface water (unknown use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use / Dams (size unknown) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Industrial & military effluents / Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Microcarbo pygmaeus. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants)
Species name author (Pallas, 1773)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 461,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment