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Mew Gull Larus canus

IUCN Red List history

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

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 14,200,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 14,200,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9.8 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.2,500,000-3,700,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the extent of threats to the species across its wide range (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Vagrant Extant        
Albania Native Extant   Yes    
Algeria Native Extant        
Austria Native Extant       Yes
Azerbaijan Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bahrain Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Belarus Native Extant       Yes
Belgium Native Extant       Yes
Bhutan Vagrant Extant        
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant   Yes    
Canada Native Extant   Yes Yes  
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Croatia Native Extant   Yes    
Cyprus Native Extant   Yes    
Czech Republic Native Extant       Yes
Denmark Native Extant     Yes Yes
Egypt Native Extant        
Estonia Native Extant       Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Finland Native Extant     Yes Yes
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gambia Vagrant Extant        
Georgia Native Extant   Yes    
Germany Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant   Yes    
Greece Native Extant   Yes    
Greenland (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant        
Hungary Native Extant       Yes
Iceland Native Extant       Yes
India Vagrant Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Iraq Native Extant   Yes    
Ireland Native Extant       Yes
Israel Native Extant        
Italy Native Extant   Yes    
Japan Native Extant        
Jordan Native Extant   Yes    
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes    
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant   Yes    
Latvia Native Extant       Yes
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Libya Vagrant Extant        
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant       Yes
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Malta Vagrant Extant        
Mauritania Vagrant Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Moldova Native Extant     Yes Yes
Mongolia Native Extant        
Montenegro Native Extant   Yes    
Morocco Vagrant Extant        
Myanmar Vagrant Extant        
Nepal Vagrant Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
North Korea Native Extant        
Norway Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Oman Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Pakistan Vagrant Extant        
Palau Unknown Extant        
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant   Yes    
Poland Native Extant     Yes Yes
Portugal Native Extant   Yes    
Romania Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Saudi Arabia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Senegal Vagrant Extant        
Serbia Native Extant   Yes    
Slovakia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Slovenia Native Extant   Yes    
South Korea Native Extant        
Spain Native Extant   Yes    
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Native Extant Yes      
Sweden Native Extant       Yes
Switzerland Native Extant       Yes
Syria Native Extant   Yes    
Taiwan (China) Unknown Extant        
Tajikistan Native Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant   Yes    
Turkmenistan Native Extinct Yes      
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates Vagrant Extant   Yes    
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes
USA Native Extant Yes      
Vietnam Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Bulgaria Batova site factsheet
Bulgaria Durankulak Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Kaliakra site factsheet
Bulgaria Shabla Lake Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Varna-Beloslav Lakes Complex site factsheet
Canada Barkley Sound site factsheet
Canada Baynes Sound site factsheet
Canada Cowichan estuary site factsheet
Canada Nares Lake site factsheet
Canada Porlier Pass site factsheet
Canada Shallow Bay, Big Slough and Swan Lake site factsheet
Canada Sidney Channel site factsheet
Denmark Coast from Aggersund to Bygholm Vejle site factsheet
Denmark Eastern German Bight site factsheet
Denmark Hjelm site factsheet
Denmark Nissum Fjord site factsheet
Denmark Roskilde Fjord, Selsø and Kattinge Søerne site factsheet
Denmark Skallingen and Langli site factsheet
Denmark Sydfynske Ø-hav site factsheet
Denmark Ulvedybet and Nibe Bredning site factsheet
Finland Itäinen Suomenlahti National Park site factsheet
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago site factsheet
Finland Kristiinankaupunki southern archipelago site factsheet
Finland Kukkiajärvi lake site factsheet
Finland Merenkurkku archipelago site factsheet
Finland Oulu region wetlands site factsheet
Finland Pori archipelago and wetlands site factsheet
Finland Rahja archipelago site factsheet
Finland Rauma and Luvia archipelagos site factsheet
Finland Tammisaari and Inkoo western archipelago site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Alagol, Lake Ulmagol and Lake Ajigol site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of South Caspian shore, from Astara to Gomishan site factsheet
Lithuania Kretuonas Landscape Reserve site factsheet
Netherlands Dunes of Schoorl site factsheet
Netherlands Schiermonnikoog site factsheet
Netherlands Texel: Dunes and Hors site factsheet
Netherlands Vlieland site factsheet
Netherlands Zwanenwater site factsheet
Oman Al Batinah coast site factsheet
Romania Black Sea site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Angara river source site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Aniva bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Balagansk forest-steppe site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Khayryuzova bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kunashir island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Nevskoye lake site factsheet
Russia (Asian) North-east Sakhalin lagoons site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Perevolochny bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Berezovye islands of Vyborg Bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Bylinskaya site factsheet
Russia (European) Danilovskoye marshes site factsheet
Russia (European) Dunilovskoye bog site factsheet
Russia (European) Kamsko-Bakaldinskiye marshes site factsheet
Russia (European) Kargopol' area site factsheet
Russia (European) Kuloy river site factsheet
Russia (European) Lake Lacha site factsheet
Russia (European) Marshes near villages Frolishchi and Chistoye site factsheet
Russia (European) Nothern part of Gor'koe reservoir with spurs site factsheet
Russia (European) Peat pits in Volodarski and Balakhninski districts site factsheet
Russia (European) Ptich'ya magistral' area site factsheet
Russia (European) Rybinsk reservoir site factsheet
Russia (European) Sitnikovski Reserve site factsheet
Russia (European) Solovetski Archipelago and Zjizjginski island site factsheet
Russia (European) Varegovskoye bog site factsheet
Sweden Outer Stockholm archipelago site factsheet
Turkey Kozlu coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Bluemill site factsheet
United Kingdom Correen Hills site factsheet
United Kingdom Loch of Skene site factsheet
United Kingdom Tips of Corsemaul and Tom Mor site factsheet
USA Northern Montague Island site factsheet
USA Prince William Sound site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic marginal resident
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 1400 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Utilisation

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 (2014) Species factsheet: Larus canus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/08/2014.

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 Laridae (Gulls, Terns, Skimmers)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 14,200,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species