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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 Resident
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       Yes
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       Yes
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
French Guiana Native Extant        
Gabon Native Extant        
Gambia Native Extant        
Georgia Vagrant Extant        
Germany Native Extant     Yes 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    
Indonesia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Ireland Native Extant       Yes
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       Yes
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 Yes
Portugal Native Extant       Yes
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       Yes
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       Yes
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 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
Ireland Blasket Islands site factsheet
Ireland Inishtrahull site factsheet
Ireland Magharee Islands, Mucklaghmore and Illaunbarnagh site factsheet
Ireland Saltee Islands 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
Norway Lista wetland system 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) Berezoviye 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 Björn archipelago 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 (2015) Species factsheet: Larus fuscus. Downloaded from on 10/10/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 10/10/2015.

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 Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 736,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment