email a friend
printable version
LC
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla

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 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#.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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#.

Synonym(s)
Leucophaeus atricilla Christidis and Boles (2008)

Distribution and population
The Laughing Gull is found in North, Cental and South America. It breeds year-round on the eastern coast of Mexico, and on the western coast of the three continents from North Carolina (USA) down to Venezuala including the Carribean. It also breeds seasonally on the eastern coast of the USA from North Carolina to Maine, wintering from Mexico down to Peru, and down to the mouth of the Amazon (Brazil) (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Trend justification
The overall population trend is increasing, 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 (344% increase over 40 years, equating to a 45.2% increase per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Ecology
This species is strictly coastal when breeding, being found on vegetated sandy beaches, islands, salt-marshes, and on the tops of rocky islands. It lays from mid- to late May in the north, and in late April in Florida. Colonies form from dozens of individuals to 10,000 pairs. Its diet is comprised of aquatic invertebrates and insects, but also fish, scraps and refuse. It can be kleptoparasitic on Brown Pelicans (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

References
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.

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., Calvert, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Larus atricilla. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/08/2014.

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 - Laughing gull (Larus atricilla) 0

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) 1,030,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species