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LC
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus

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) 16,700,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 28,000,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9.6 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.4,800,000-8,900,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population estimates include: > c.1,000 individuals on migration and > c.1,000 wintering individuals in China; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and > c.1,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan; > c.1,000 individuals on migration and > c.1,000 wintering individuals in Korea; < c.10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-1 million breeding pairs and > c.1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a large and statistically significant increase over the last 40 years in North America (361% increase over 40 years, equating to a 46.6% increase per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007) Note, however, that these surveys cover less than 50% of the species's range in North America.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan Native Extant     Yes
Albania Native Extant   Yes  
Algeria Native Extant      
Angola Vagrant Extant      
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant      
Armenia Native Extant Yes    
Australia Vagrant Extant      
Austria Native Extant      
Azerbaijan Native Extant      
Bahamas Vagrant Extant      
Bahrain Native Extant   Yes Yes
Bangladesh Native Extant      
Barbados Native Extant      
Belarus Native Extant      
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 Vagrant Extant      
Brunei Vagrant Extant      
Bulgaria Native Extant      
Burkina Faso Native Extant      
Burundi Vagrant Extant      
Cambodia Native Extant      
Cameroon Vagrant Extant      
Canada Native Extant      
Cape Verde Native Extant      
Chad Vagrant Extant      
China (mainland) Native Extant   Yes  
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Vagrant Extant      
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant      
Croatia Native Extant      
Cuba Vagrant Extant      
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Cyprus Native Extant   Yes  
Czech Republic Native Extant      
Denmark Native Extant     Yes
Djibouti Native Extant      
Dominica Native Extant      
Egypt Native Extant      
Eritrea Native Extant      
Estonia Native Extant      
Ethiopia Native Extant      
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant      
Finland Native Extant     Yes
France Native Extant     Yes
French Guiana Native Extant      
Gambia Native Extant      
Georgia Native Extant      
Germany Native Extant     Yes
Ghana Native Extant      
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant   Yes  
Greece Native Extant     Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant      
Grenada Vagrant Extant      
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant      
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes  
Guinea Vagrant Extant      
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant      
Hong Kong (China) Native Extant      
Hungary Native Extant     Yes
Iceland Native Extant      
India Native Extant      
Indonesia Native Extant      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant     Yes
Iraq Native Extant     Yes
Ireland Native Extant      
Israel Native Extant   Yes Yes
Italy Native Extant      
Japan Native Extant      
Jordan Native Extant   Yes Yes
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes    
Kenya Native Extant      
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes    
Laos Native Extant      
Latvia Native Extant      
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes
Liberia Vagrant Extant      
Libya Native Extant      
Liechtenstein Native Extant Yes    
Lithuania Native Extant      
Luxembourg Native Extant   Yes  
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant      
Malaysia Native Extant      
Maldives Vagrant Extant      
Mali Native Extant      
Malta Native Extant   Yes  
Martinique (to France) Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant      
Mexico Native Extant      
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant   Yes  
Moldova Native Extant     Yes
Monaco Unknown Extant      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes    
Montenegro Native Extant      
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant      
Morocco Native Extant      
Myanmar Native Extant      
Nepal Native Extant      
Netherlands Native Extant      
Niger Native Extant      
Nigeria Native Extant      
North Korea Native Extant      
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes  
Norway Native Extant Yes   Yes
Oman Native Extant   Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant      
Palau Native Extant   Yes  
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant   Yes  
Papua New Guinea Vagrant Extant      
Philippines Native Extant      
Poland Native Extant     Yes
Portugal Native Extant      
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant      
Qatar Native Extant   Yes  
Romania Native Extant     Yes
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes    
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes   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 Vagrant Extant      
Singapore Native Extant      
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Slovakia Native Extant     Yes
Slovenia Native Extant     Yes
Somalia Native Extant      
South Africa Vagrant Extant      
South Korea Native Extant      
South Sudan Native Extant   Yes  
Spain Native Extant     Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant      
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant      
St Lucia Native Extant      
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant   Yes Yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant      
Sudan Native Extant      
Suriname Native Extant      
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Native Extant Yes    
Sweden Native Extant     Yes
Switzerland Native Extant      
Syria Native Extant   Yes Yes
Taiwan (China) Native Extant      
Tajikistan Native Extant      
Tanzania Native Extant      
Thailand Native Extant      
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant      
Tunisia Native Extant      
Turkey Native Extant      
Turkmenistan Native Extant      
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Vagrant Extant      
Uganda Native Extant      
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes  
United Kingdom Native Extant      
USA Native Extant Yes    
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes    
Vietnam Native Extant      
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes  
Western Sahara Native Extant      
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes
Zimbabwe Vagrant Extant      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Bulgaria Maritsa-Plovdiv site factsheet
Canada Île a Calculot site factsheet
Canada Île Nue de Mingan site factsheet
Canada Lagune du Havre aux Basques et plage de l'Ouest site factsheet
Canada Quidi Vidi Lake site factsheet
Canada Quoddy Region site factsheet
China (mainland) Aksu River basin site factsheet
China (mainland) Barkol Lake and grassland site factsheet
China (mainland) Bayanbulak and Kaidu River Valley site factsheet
China (mainland) Bosten Lake site factsheet
China (mainland) Desert and wetland from Northern Urumqi to Dabancheng site factsheet
China (mainland) Ebi Nur and Kuytun River site factsheet
China (mainland) Hotan Oasis site factsheet
China (mainland) Lower reaches of Tarim River site factsheet
China (mainland) Markit-Yarkant Oasis site factsheet
China (mainland) Oasis, Desert and Wetland at Mosuowan site factsheet
China (mainland) Qiemo Oasis and Qarqan River site factsheet
China (mainland) Xayar forest and wetland site factsheet
Egypt Lake Manzala site factsheet
Hong Kong (China) Inner Deep Bay and Shenzhen River catchment area site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arjan Protected Area site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bandar Kiashar lagoon and mouth of Sefid Rud site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hamoun-i Sabari and Hamoun-i Hirmand site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Khouran Straits site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Alagol, Lake Ulmagol and Lake Ajigol site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Maharlu site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shadegan marshes and tidal mudflats of Khor-al Amaya and Khor Musa site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of South Caspian shore, from Astara to Gomishan site factsheet
Iraq Shatt Al Arab marshes site factsheet
Israel Carmel coast site factsheet
Israel Lake Kinneret and Kinerot site factsheet
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Mongolia Taigam Lake site factsheet
Oman Al Batinah coast site factsheet
Oman Khawr Hassan site factsheet
Oman Khawr Shinas and Khawr Liwa site factsheet
Oman Quriyat - Daghmar site factsheet
Oman Ras al Hadd site factsheet
Poland Brzeszcze ponds site factsheet
Poland Druzno lake site factsheet
Poland Lower Skawa River Valley site factsheet
Poland Malopolska Wisla river gap site factsheet
Poland Middle Vistula River Valley site factsheet
Poland Mietkow reservoir site factsheet
Poland Nysa reservoir site factsheet
Poland Siemianowka Reseirvoir site factsheet
Poland Skoki Gravel-Pit site factsheet
Poland Turek Site site factsheet
Poland Warta River Mouth site factsheet
Romania Black Sea site factsheet
Romania Buhuşu reservoir - Bacău - Tătărăşti site factsheet
Romania Câmpia Crişurilor site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Romania Dunăre - Olteniţa site factsheet
Romania Lake Dunăreni site factsheet
Romania Lake Oltina site factsheet
Romania Olteniţa - Ulmeni site factsheet
Romania Suhaia site factsheet
Romania Vedea - Dunăre site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Avacha bay (Khlamovitskiy Wildlife Reserve) site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kharchinskoye lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Blagoveschenskaya (Kulunda lake and vicinity) site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Dvuob'ye site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Lake Gorkoe at village Novotroitskoe site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Lake system near Lotoshnoye village site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Lake Tarutino site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Ob' site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Tarutino Lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Upper streams of Ob' river site factsheet
Russia (European) Beglitskaya sand-spit site factsheet
Russia (European) Berezovye islands of Vyborg Bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Delta of the River Don site factsheet
Russia (European) Ptich'ya magistral' area site factsheet
Russia (European) Sitnikovski Reserve site factsheet
Russia (European) Utrish Reserve and adjacent coastal waters site factsheet
Serbia Carska bara site factsheet
Slovenia River Drava site factsheet
Spain Albufera de Valencia marshes site factsheet
Turkey Bosphorus site factsheet
Turkey Gediz Delta site factsheet
United Arab Emirates Khor Dubai site factsheet
Uzbekistan Balykchi Fish Farm site factsheet
Uzbekistan Khorezm Fish Farm and adjacent lakes site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable 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
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 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
Food (human) Whole Eggs 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 ridibundus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 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, 1766
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 16,700,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species