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Common Guillemot Uria aalge

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
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 14,700,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Increasing -
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
Algeria Unknown Extant      
Belgium Native Extant   Yes  
Bulgaria Vagrant Extant      
Canada Native Extant      
Cape Verde Unknown Extant      
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant      
Denmark Native Extant     Yes
Estonia Native Extant   Yes  
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant      
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes
France Native Extant     Yes
Gambia Unknown Extant      
Germany Native Extant      
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant      
Iceland Native Extant      
Ireland Native Extant      
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      
Romania Vagrant Extant      
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes    
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes    
Senegal Unknown Extant      
South Korea Native Extant      
Spain Native Extant      
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant   Yes Yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Native Extant Yes    
Sweden Native Extant      
Switzerland Vagrant Extant      
Tunisia Unknown Extant      
United Kingdom Native Extant      
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 Grímsey site factsheet
Iceland Hælavíkurbjarg site factsheet
Iceland Krísuvíkurberg site factsheet
Iceland Látrabjarg site factsheet
Iceland Riturinn site factsheet
Iceland Skoruvik-Skalabjarg 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
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island) site factsheet
Sweden Bonden island site factsheet
Sweden Bråviken - Hävringe site factsheet
Sweden Karlsö islands 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 Cape Peirce & Cape Newenham Colonies site factsheet
USA St George Island Colony 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 breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Uria aalge. Downloaded from on 12/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 12/07/2014.

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 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