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Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2010 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) 346,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 6,110,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 0
Population trend Increasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.5 - - -
Population justification: The global population size is unknown owing to recent taxonomic splits.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Albania Unknown Extant      
Algeria Native Extant      
Armenia Native Extant Yes    
Austria Native Extant      
Bahrain Vagrant Extant      
Belarus Native Extant      
Belgium Native Extant      
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes    
Cape Verde Vagrant Extant      
Croatia Native Extant      
Cyprus Native Extant   Yes  
Czech Republic Native Extant      
Denmark Native Extant Yes   Yes
Egypt Native Extant   Yes  
Finland Vagrant Extant      
France Native Extant     Yes
Gambia Vagrant Extant      
Georgia Native Extant Yes    
Germany Native Extant Yes    
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant      
Greece Native Extant     Yes
Hungary Native Extant     Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant      
Iraq Native Extant   Yes  
Ireland Native Extant      
Israel Native Extant      
Italy Native Extant      
Jordan Native Extant   Yes Yes
Kuwait Unknown Extant      
Lebanon Native Extant      
Libya Native Extant   Yes  
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant Yes    
Malta Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant   Yes  
Monaco Unknown Extant      
Montenegro Native Extant      
Morocco Native Extant      
Netherlands Native Extant      
Nigeria Vagrant Extant      
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant   Yes  
Poland Native Extant     Yes
Portugal Native Extant      
Russia (European) Native Extant     Yes
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes  
Senegal Vagrant Extant      
Serbia Native Extant      
Slovakia Native Extant     Yes
Slovenia Native Extant     Yes
Spain Native Extant     Yes
Sweden Vagrant Extant      
Switzerland Native Extant      
Syria Native Extant      
Tunisia Native Extant      
Turkey Native Extant      
United Kingdom Native Extant Yes   Yes
Western Sahara Native Extant Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Armenia Lake Arpi site factsheet
Armenia Lake Sevan site factsheet
Bulgaria Bakarlaka site factsheet
Bulgaria Burgasko Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Ovtcharitsa Reservoir site factsheet
Egypt Lake Manzala site factsheet
France Estuaire de la Bidassoa et Baie de Fontarabie site factsheet
France Etangs de Citis, Lavalduc, Engrenier, Pourra, l'Estomac, Fos et salines de Rassuen et de Fos site factsheet
France Etangs de Leucate et Lapalme site factsheet
France Etangs Montpellierains site factsheet
France Etangs Narbonnais site factsheet
France Golfe de Porto, presqu'île de Scandola et golfe de Galeria site factsheet
France Iles d'Hyères site factsheet
France Moyenne Vallée de la Durance site factsheet
France Petite Camargue laguno-marine site factsheet
Gibraltar (to UK) Strait of Gibraltar site factsheet
Greece Axios, Loudias, and Aliakmon estuaries site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Uromiyeh site factsheet
Iraq Haur Al Hammar site factsheet
Morocco Sebkha Bou Areg site factsheet
Portugal Berlengas site factsheet
Slovenia River Drava site factsheet
Slovenia Sečovlje saltpans site factsheet
Spain Ampurdán marshes site factsheet
Spain Archipelago of Cabrera site factsheet
Spain Cape Busto-Luanco site factsheet
Spain Chafarinas Islands site factsheet
Spain Chingudi-Bidasoa estuary site factsheet
Spain Cíes islands site factsheet
Spain Entorno marino de las rías Baixas site factsheet
Spain Eo river estuary-Barayo beach-Ría de Foz site factsheet
Spain Isla Cristina and Ayamonte marshes and Prado lagoon site factsheet
Spain La Mola of Formentera site factsheet
Spain Llobregat delta site factsheet
Spain Medas islands site factsheet
Spain Mountains of Barcelona site factsheet
Spain Ons islands site factsheet
Spain Plataforma Marina del Delta del Ebro - Columbretes site factsheet
Spain Ribadesella-Tina Mayor site factsheet
Tunisia Boughrara site factsheet
Tunisia Gourine site factsheet
Tunisia Kneiss site factsheet
Turkey Aktaş Lake site factsheet
Turkey Ayvalık site factsheet
Turkey Bendimahi Delta site factsheet
Turkey Bosphorus site factsheet
Turkey Büyükçekmece Lake site factsheet
Turkey Çiçek Islands site factsheet
Turkey Çıldır Lake site factsheet
Turkey Devegeçidi Dam site factsheet
Turkey Gediz Delta site factsheet
Turkey Karakaya Reservoir site factsheet
Turkey Keban Islands site factsheet
Turkey Marmara Islands site factsheet
Turkey South Keban Dam site factsheet
Turkey Tuz Lake site factsheet
Turkey Van Plains site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Aquaculture Ponds suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Ponds (below 8ha) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Salt Exploitation Sites suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-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) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Larus michahellis. Downloaded from on 11/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from 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 J. F. Naumann, 1840
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 346,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species