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LC
Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus

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 stable, 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 very 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#.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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#.

Distribution and population
This species can be found in South America on coastal Ecuador and Peru, and from central-eastern and coastal Brazil to Argentina and inland to Paraguay and Santa Fe (Argentina). It is also present throughout much off Africa, on coastal and inland south of the Sahara, including Madagascar (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Trend justification
Although Wetlands International consider the current population trend to be unknown, it is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Ecology
Behaviour Most populations of this species are sedentary, although inland breeders will disperse short distances to the coast in the non-breeding season (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003). The species breeds colonially (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003), from April-May (before the rains) in Africa (Olsen and Larsson 2003), and from early-May in South America (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It remains fairly gregarious outside of the breeding season (Langrand 1990, Olsen and Larsson 2003), and is typically observed in pairs or small groups of 3-8 individuals (Langrand 1990), or feeding in large flocks in harbours and at refuse dumps (Olsen and Larsson 2003). Habitat Breeding During the breeding season the species inhabits tropical and subtropical coasts, rocky offshore islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003), coastal dykes, coastal dunes (del Hoyo et al. 1996), estuaries (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003) and harbours (Africa) (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), as well as large inland fresh and alkaline lakes (Africa) (del Hoyo et al. 1996), rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003), salt-pans (Martin and Randall 1987) and marshes (Argentina) (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species remains along the shores of coastal habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. rocky offshore islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003), coastal dykes, coastal dunes (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and estuaries (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003)) but also frequents settlements, cattle pens and fishing harbours (in Africa) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of fish (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), as well as invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. insects, molluscs and termites (Urban et al. 1986)), the eggs of herons and cormorants (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and dead fish and refuse obtained by scavenging (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The species breeds colonially, with nests often placed less than 1m apart (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Nests are positioned on bare ground, in clumps of reeds and papyrus (del Hoyo et al. 1996) on islands (Urban et al. 1986), or on floating vegetation (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), often camouflaged in tall, thick vegetation (Urban et al. 1986). The nest itself varies from a shallow scrape to a well built cup of rushes and grasses (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) depending on location, although floating nests are always substantial (Urban et al. 1986).

Threats
The species is susceptible to avian botulism, so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the disease (van Heerden 1974). Utilisation There is evidence that chicks of this species are traded in traditional medicine shops (Brooke et al. 1999).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

References
Brooke, R. K.; Allan, D. G.; Cooper, J.; Cyrus, D. P.; Dean, W. R. J.; Dyer, B. M.; Martin, A. P.; Taylor, R. H. 1999. Breeding distribution, population size and conservation of the Greyheaded Gull Larus cirrocephalus in southern Africa. Ostrich: 157-163.

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.

Langrand, O. 1990. Guide to the birds of Madagascar. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Martin, A. P.; Randall, R. M. 1987. Numbers of waterbirds at a commercial saltpan and suggestions for management. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 17(3): 75-81.

Olsen, K. M.; Larsson, H. 2004. Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Christopher Helm, London.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1986. The birds of Africa vol. II. Academic Press, London.

van Heerden, J. 1974. Botulism in the Orange Free State goldfields. Ostrich 45(3): 182-184.

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 cirrocephalus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/09/2014.

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 Vieillot, 1818
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 6,410,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change