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.
Larus cachinnans (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into L. cachinnans and L. michahellis; L. armenicus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993; AERC TAC) has been lumped into L. michahellis. These changes to the BirdLife checklist follow examination by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group (BTWG) of a recent review of large white-headed gulls in the Holarctic by Collinson et al. (2008) and associated literature referred to therein. The following species level treatment, shown with subspecific placements, has been adopted by the BTWG: L. fuscus (with intermedius, graellsii, heuglini, taimyrensis and barabensis); L. argentatus (with argenteus, smithsonianus, vegae and mongolicus); L. michahellis (with atlantis and armenicus) and L. cachinnans. This treatment is based on evidence of sympatry, and morphological and behavioural differences, but rejects further splits derived from phylogentic analyses based on mtDNA because Collinson et al. (2008) admit that (1) mtDNA lineages can disappear by random events, resulting in misplacements and displacements in phylogenies, and (2) hybridisation, which seems very widespread in these white-headed gulls, can result in "adoption" of mtDNA sequences by another taxon, completely obscuring the real situation. Collinson et al. (2008) explicitly state "these complications do not just make gull phylogenies difficult: they may cause entirely false conclusions to be drawn about species boundaries it must be recognised that splits or lumps based solely on mtDNA cannot be regarded as robust". While proposed splits not adopted here are not based solely on mtDNA, the morphological evidence presented is not conclusive, taxa are only diagnosable in some cases and there is hybridisation between them.
Bosch, M.; Oro, D.; Cantos, F. J.; Zabala, M. 2000. Short-term effects of culling on the ecology and population dynamics of the Yellow-legged Gull. Journal of Applied Ecology 37: 369-385.
Cooper, D. S. 2003. New distributional and ecological information on birds in south-western Guatemala. Cotinga 19: 61-63.
de Juana, E. 1984. The status and conservation of seabirds in the Spanish Mediterranean. In: Croxall, J. P.; Evans, P. G. H.; Schreiber, R. W. (ed.), Status and conservation of the world's seabirds, pp. 347-361. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.
del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
James, P. C. 1984. The status and conservation of seabirds in the Mediterranean Sea. In: Croxall, J.P.; Evans, P.G.H.; Schreiber, R.W. (ed.), Status and conservation of the world's seabirds, pp. 371-375. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.
Le Grand, G.; Emmerson, K.; Martin, A. 1984. The status and conservation of seabirds in the Macaronesian Islands. In: Croxall, J.P.; Evans, P.G.H.; Schreiber, R.W. (ed.), Status and conservation of the world's seabirds, pp. 377-391. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.
Munilla, I. 1997. Henslowâ€™s swimming crab (Polybius henslowii) as an important food for yellow-legged gulls (Larus cachinnans) in NW Spain. ICES Journal of Marine Science 54: 631-634.
Olsen, K. M.; Larsson, H. 2004. Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Christopher Helm, London.
Rudenko, A. G. 2006. Migration of Pontic Gulls Larus cachinnans form 'ponticus' ringed in the south of Ukraine: a review of recoveries from 1929 to 2003. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 553-559. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.
Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic vol. 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L., Calvert, R.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Larus michahellis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/03/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/03/2014.
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.
|Current IUCN Red List category||Least Concern|
|Family||Laridae (Gulls and terns)|
|Species name author||J. F. Naumann, 1840|
|Population size||mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||346,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|