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Common Murre Uria aalge
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

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 991 g


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 1,440,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Increasing Estimated -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 15.1 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number > c.18,000,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996), while national population sizes have been estimated at < c.100 breeding pairs and c.50-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The population trend is increasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Algeria Unknown Extant        
Belgium Native Extant   Yes    
Bulgaria Vagrant Extant        
Canada Native Extant       Yes
Cape Verde Unknown Extant        
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant        
Denmark Native Extant     Yes Yes
Estonia Native Extant   Yes    
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gambia Unknown Extant        
Germany Native Extant       Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Iceland Native Extant       Yes
Ireland Native Extant       Yes
Italy Native Extant        
Japan Native Extant        
Latvia Native Extant   Yes    
Lithuania Native Extant   Yes    
Malta Vagrant Extant        
Mauritania Vagrant Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Monaco Unknown Extant        
Morocco Vagrant Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant   Yes    
North Korea Native Extant Yes      
Norway Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Poland Native Extant   Yes    
Portugal Native Extant       Yes
Romania Vagrant Extant        
Russia Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Senegal Unknown Extant        
South Korea Native Extant        
Spain Native Extant       Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Native Extant Yes      
Sweden Native Extant       Yes
Switzerland Vagrant Extant        
Tunisia Unknown Extant        
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes
USA Native Extant Yes      
Western Sahara Unknown Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Canada Bonaventure Island site factsheet
Canada Cape St. Mary's site factsheet
Canada Funk Island site factsheet
Canada Gannet Islands site factsheet
Canada Îles Sainte-Marie site factsheet
Canada Witless Bay Islands site factsheet
Denmark Lille Middelgrund site factsheet
Denmark Skagerrak-Southwest Norwegian trench site factsheet
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Skúvoy site factsheet
Iceland Drangey site factsheet
Iceland Eldey site factsheet
Iceland Grímsey, Eyjafirdi site factsheet
Iceland Hornbjarg & Haelavikurbjarg site factsheet
Iceland Ingolfshofdi site factsheet
Iceland Krýsuvíkurberg site factsheet
Iceland Látrabjarg site factsheet
Iceland Myrdalur site factsheet
Iceland Papey site factsheet
Iceland Raudinupur site factsheet
Iceland Riturinn site factsheet
Iceland Skoruvik-Skalabjarg site factsheet
Iceland Vestmannaeyjar site factsheet
Ireland Lambay Island site factsheet
Norway Varangerfjord (including Hornøya and Reinøya) site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Bogoslova island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Impoveem bay and Khalpili islands site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Iony island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kunashir island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir) site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Odyan bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Tyuleniy island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Utashud island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Vasiliya islands site factsheet
Spain Cíes islands site factsheet
Spain Costa da Morte site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island) site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Midterhuken & Eholmen site factsheet
Sweden Bay of Skälderviken site factsheet
Sweden Bonden island site factsheet
Sweden Bråviken - Hävringe site factsheet
Sweden Karlsö islands site factsheet
Sweden Kullaberg site factsheet
Sweden Little Middelgrund site factsheet
Sweden Outer Stockholm archipelago site factsheet
United Kingdom Caithness Cliffs site factsheet
United Kingdom Fair Isle site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs site factsheet
United Kingdom Foula site factsheet
United Kingdom Fowlsheugh site factsheet
United Kingdom Handa site factsheet
United Kingdom Marwick Head site factsheet
United Kingdom Mingulay and Berneray site factsheet
United Kingdom North Rona and Sula Sgeir site factsheet
United Kingdom Noss site factsheet
United Kingdom Rathlin Island site factsheet
United Kingdom St Abbs Head to Fast Castle site factsheet
United Kingdom Troup, Pennan and Lion Heads site factsheet
United Kingdom West Westray site factsheet
USA Bird Rocks NWR site factsheet
USA Blanco Reef site factsheet
USA Cape Peirce & Cape Newenham Colonies site factsheet
USA Castle Rock site factsheet
USA False Cape Rock site factsheet
USA False Klamath site factsheet
USA Farallon Islands site factsheet
USA Goat Island NWR site factsheet
USA Mack Reef site factsheet
USA Orford Reef site factsheet
USA Redfish Rocks site factsheet
USA St George Island Colony site factsheet
USA Steamboat Rock site factsheet
USA Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge site factsheet
USA Trinidad Complex site factsheet
USA Two Arches Rock NWR site factsheet
USA Whalehead Island NWR site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands Major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp Major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic Major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) Major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel Major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs Major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy Major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud Major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) Suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) Suitable non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) Suitable breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) Suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality


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 Historical
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Uria aalge. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

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 Alcidae (Auks)
Species name author (Pontoppidan, 1763)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,440,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment