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Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus

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 -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 736,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 4,670,000 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) 13.9 - - -
Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations are decreasing (Wetlands International 2006). The population trend is increasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan Vagrant Extant     Yes
Albania Native Extant   Yes  
Algeria Native Extant      
Angola Native Extant      
Anguilla (to UK) Native Extant      
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant      
Argentina Vagrant Extant      
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Australia Unknown Extant      
Austria Native Extant   Yes  
Bahamas Vagrant Extant      
Bahrain Native Extant   Yes Yes
Barbados Native Extant      
Belarus Native Extant     Yes
Belgium Native Extant      
Benin Native Extant      
Bermuda (to UK) Native Extant      
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant      
Botswana Native Extant      
Bulgaria Native Extant   Yes  
Burkina Faso Native Extant      
Burundi Native Extant      
Cameroon Native Extant      
Canada Native Extant      
Cape Verde Native Extant      
Central African Republic Native Extant      
Chad Native Extant      
Comoros Native Extant      
Congo Native Extant      
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant      
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant      
Croatia Native Extant   Yes  
Cuba Vagrant Extant      
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Cyprus Native Extant   Yes  
Czech Republic Native Extant      
Denmark Native Extant Yes   Yes
Djibouti Native Extant      
Dominica Native Extant      
Dominican Republic Vagrant Extant      
Ecuador Vagrant Extant      
Egypt Native Extant      
Equatorial Guinea Unknown Extant      
Eritrea Native Extant      
Estonia Native Extant      
Ethiopia Native Extant      
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant      
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes
France Native Extant     Yes
French Guiana Native Extant      
Gabon Native Extant      
Gambia Native Extant      
Georgia Vagrant Extant      
Germany Native Extant     Yes
Ghana Native Extant      
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant   Yes Yes
Greece Native Extant   Yes Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant Yes    
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant      
Guinea Native Extant      
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant      
Hungary Native Extant   Yes  
Iceland Native Extant Yes    
India Native Extant   Yes  
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes Yes
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes
Ireland Native Extant      
Israel Native Extant   Yes Yes
Italy Native Extant   Yes  
Jordan Native Extant   Yes Yes
Kazakhstan Vagrant Extant      
Kenya Native Extant      
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes    
Latvia Native Extant   Yes  
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes
Liberia Native Extant      
Libya Native Extant      
Lithuania Native Extant   Yes  
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes  
Malawi Native Extant      
Mali Native Extant      
Malta Native Extant   Yes  
Martinique (to France) Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant      
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant      
Mexico Native Extant      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes    
Montenegro Native Extant      
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant      
Morocco Native Extant      
Mozambique Native Extant      
Namibia Vagrant Extant      
Netherlands Native Extant      
Niger Native Extant      
Nigeria Native Extant      
Norway Native Extant Yes   Yes
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant   Yes Yes
Panama Vagrant Extant      
Poland Native Extant     Yes
Portugal Native Extant      
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant      
Qatar Native Extant   Yes  
Romania Native Extant   Yes Yes
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes    
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes
Rwanda Native Extant      
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes Yes
Senegal Native Extant      
Serbia Native Extant      
Seychelles Vagrant Extant      
Sierra Leone Native Extant      
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Slovakia Native Extant   Yes  
Slovenia Native Extant   Yes  
Somalia Native Extant      
South Africa Native Extant      
South Sudan Native Extant     Yes
Spain Native Extant      
Sri Lanka Vagrant Extant   Yes  
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant      
St Lucia Native Extant      
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Vagrant Extant   Yes Yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant      
Sudan Native Extant      
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Native Extant Yes    
Sweden Native Extant Yes    
Switzerland Native Extant   Yes  
Syria Native Extant   Yes Yes
Tanzania Native Extant      
Togo Native Extant      
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant      
Tunisia Native Extant      
Turkey Native Extant   Yes  
Turkmenistan Native Extant     Yes
Uganda Native Extant      
Ukraine Native Extant   Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes
United Kingdom Native Extant      
USA Native Extant   Yes  
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes    
Venezuela Native Extant      
Virgin Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant      
Western Sahara Native Extant      
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes
Zambia Native Extant      
Zimbabwe Native Extant      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Denmark Hirsholmene site factsheet
Denmark Nordre Rønner site factsheet
Denmark Northwestern Kattegat site factsheet
Denmark Ørkenen and Totten (Anholt Island) site factsheet
Denmark Stavnsfjord and adjacent waters site factsheet
Finland Itäinen Suomenlahti National Park site factsheet
Finland Keski-Kallavesi and Kuhanen Lake site factsheet
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago site factsheet
Finland Krunnit archipelago site factsheet
Finland Merenkurkku archipelago site factsheet
Finland Oura and Enskeri archipelagos site factsheet
Finland Rahja archipelago site factsheet
Finland Uusikaarlepyy archipelago site factsheet
France Archipel de Molène site factsheet
France Archipel des Glénan site factsheet
France Archipel des Sept-Iles site factsheet
France Baies de Morlaix et de Carantec site factsheet
France Cap Gris-nez site factsheet
France Estuaire de la Canche site factsheet
France Golfe du Morbihan et Etier de Penerf site factsheet
France Ile d'Ouessant site factsheet
France Iles Saint Marcouf site factsheet
France Littoral Augeron site factsheet
Gambia Tanji River (Karinti) Bird Reserve site factsheet
Gibraltar (to UK) Strait of Gibraltar site factsheet
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park site factsheet
Mauritania Cap Blanc site factsheet
Morocco Baie d'Ad Dakhla site factsheet
Morocco Dakhla area site factsheet
Netherlands Schiermonnikoog site factsheet
Netherlands Terschelling: De Boschplaat site factsheet
Netherlands Texel: Dunes and Hors site factsheet
Netherlands Vlieland site factsheet
Oman Al Batinah coast site factsheet
Oman Barr al Hikman site factsheet
Oman Duqm site factsheet
Oman Masirah island site factsheet
Oman Ras al Hadd site factsheet
Oman Salalah Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
Portugal Albufeira do Caia site factsheet
Russia (European) Berezovye islands of Vyborg Bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Dolgy Reef and Bol'shoi Fiskar archipelagos site factsheet
Russia (European) Southern coast of the Neva bay site factsheet
Senegal Delta du Saloum site factsheet
Spain Cádiz bay site factsheet
Spain Fuente de Piedra, Gosque and Campillos lakes site factsheet
Spain Isla Cristina and Ayamonte marshes and Prado lagoon site factsheet
Spain Pela mountain range-Orellana reservoir-Zorita site factsheet
Sweden Outer Stockholm archipelago site factsheet
Sweden The Archipelago of Nothern Hälsingland site factsheet
United Kingdom Alde - Ore Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Almorness Point and Hestan Island site factsheet
United Kingdom Bowland Fells site factsheet
United Kingdom Cardigan Island site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom Horse Island site factsheet
United Kingdom Isles of Scilly site factsheet
United Kingdom Little Cumbrae Island site factsheet
United Kingdom Morecambe Bay site factsheet
United Kingdom Ribble and Alt Estuaries site factsheet
United Kingdom Severn Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Skokholm and Skomer site factsheet
United Kingdom Upper Solway Flats and Marshes site factsheet
Yemen Abdullah Gharib lagoons site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Excavations (open) suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable non-breeding
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
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Viral/prion-induced diseases / Avian Botulism (Clostridium botulinum) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
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 fuscus. Downloaded from on 11/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 11/07/2014.

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 and terns)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 736,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species