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LC
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html#.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Distribution and population
The Kelp Gull breeds on coasts and islands through much of the southern hemisphere. It is found on a number of subantarctic islands, on the Antarctic peninsula, on the southern coast of Australia and all of New Zealand, on the southern cost of Africa and Madagascar, and on the coast of South America as far north as Ecuador and southern Brazil1.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 3,300,000-4,300,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Ecology
Behaviour Although this species is largely sedentary some southern populations migrate north after the breeding season (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species breeds between late-September and January (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005) in colonies of up to several hundred pairs (occasionally nesting solitarily) (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and remains gregarious outside of the breeding season (Hockey et al. 2005). Habitat It inhabits sheltered coastal (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996) harbours, bays, inlets, estuaries, beaches and rocky shores (Higgins and Davies 1996), usually foraging within 10 km of the shore but also following fishing boats beyond the continental shelf (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996). It may forage and roost in near-coastal inland habitats including lagoons (Higgins and Davies 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), lakes, swampy basins, rivers, streams (Higgins and Davies 1996), reservoirs (del Hoyo et al. 1996), pastures (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996), cultivated land, tussock grassland, scrubland and cleared areas in pine plantations (Higgins and Davies 1996). It often also forages around abattoirs, fish- or seafood-factories and at sewage outfalls (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species will form breeding colonies in a number of locations including headlands (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996), sea cliffs (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), rocky outcrops, stacks (Higgins and Davies 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), offshore islands (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), low sandy, pebbly or rocky beaches, spits or islands (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996) in estuaries and lagoons (Hockey et al. 2005), on reefs, peninsulas, mudflats, sandbanks (Higgins and Davies 1996) and occasionally on the roofs of coastal buildings or in salt and sewage works (Hockey et al. 2005). Locally (e.g. in New Zealand) it may also breed inland on flat rocky mountaintops near permanent water (Higgins and Davies 1996). Diet Its diet consists of molluscs (e.g. mussels, cuttlefish Sepia spp. and terrestrial snails), echinoderms (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), sponges (Hockey et al. 2005), arthropods (e.g. swarming termites, crabs, isopods, amphipods) (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), macrozooplankton (Hockey et al. 2005), fish, worms, reptiles (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. snakes) (Hockey et al. 2005), amphibians (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. frogs) (Hockey et al. 2005), small mammals (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), birds (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and berries (Hockey et al. 2005). The species also scavenges refuse, sewage and carrion (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005). Breeding site The nest is a bulky structure of dried plants or seaweed (del Hoyo et al. 1996) placed on bare rock, sand or mud substrates (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996) in well-vegetated sites (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (with grasses, sedge, rushes and other herbaceous plants) (Higgins and Davies 1996) at the base of bushes, trees, rocks (del Hoyo et al. 1996), walls (Hockey et al. 2005) or other vertical structures (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding habitats include headlands (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996), sea cliffs (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), rocky outcrops, stacks (Higgins and Davies 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), offshore islands (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), reefs, peninsulas, mudflats, sandbanks (Higgins and Davies 1996), the roofs of coastal buildings, salt and sewage works, guano platforms, shipwrecks (Hockey et al. 2005) and above the high water mark on low sandy, pebbly or rocky beaches (Higgins and Davies 1996, del Hoyo et al. 1996), spits or islands (Higgins and Davies 1996) in estuaries and lagoons (Hockey et al. 2005). Locally (e.g. in New Zealand) it may also breed inland on flat rocky mountaintops near permanent water (Higgins and Davies 1996). Management information Attaching high-visibility plastic cones to trawler warp cables can significantly reduce the mortality and bycatch of this species due to trawler fisheries (Gonzalez-Zevallos et al. 2007).

Threats
The species is potentially threatened by future marine oil spills (Parsons and Underhill 2005), and is susceptible to avian cholera (Hockey et al. 2005, Leotta et al. 2006) and avian botulism (Blaker 1967, Hockey et al. 2005) so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases. The species also suffers mortality from interactions with trawler warp cables (Argentina) (Gonzalez-Zevallos et al. 2007).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

References
Blaker, D. 1967. An outbreak of Botulinus poisoning among waterbirds. Ostrich 38(2): 144-147.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Gonzalez-Zevallos, D.; Yario, P.; Caille, G. 2007. Seabird mortality at trawler warp cables and a proposed mitigation measure: A case of study in Golfo San Jorge, Patagonia, Argentina. Biological Conservation 136(1): 108-116.

Higgins, P. J.; Davies, S. J. J. F. 1996. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds vol 3: snipe to pigeons. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hockey, P. A. R.; Dean, W. R. J.; Ryan, P. G. 2005. Roberts birds of southern Africa. Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa.

Leotta, G. A.; Chinen, I.; Vigo, G. B.; Pecoraro, M.; Rivas, M. 2006. Outbreaks of avian cholera in Hope Bay, Antarctica. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 24(2): 259-270.

Parsons, N. J.; Underhill, L. G. 2005. Oiled and injured African penguins Spheniscus demersus and other seabirds admitted for rehabilitation in the Western Cape, South Africa, 2001 and 2002. African Journal of Marine Science 27(1): 289-296.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L., Calvert, R.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Larus dominicanus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Kelp gull (Larus dominicanus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Laridae (Gulls, Terns, Skimmers)
Species name author Lichtenstein, 1823
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3,620,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change