email a friend
printable version
LC
Thick-billed Murre Uria lomvia

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 extremely 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#.
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.

Distribution and population
This species has a circumpolar distribution in the arctic and high arctic regions of North America, Europe and Asia breeding on coasts and islands. It breeds as far south as the Kuril Islands (Russia), Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada) and Alaska (USA), and also winters off the coast of central Japan1.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number > c.22,000,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996), while the population is Russia has been estimated at c.10,000-1 million breeding pairs (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The population trend is increasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Ecology
The Thick-billed Guillemot is exclusively marine ranging along sea coasts and as far offshore as the continental shelf edge. It feeds chiefly on fish, squid and crustaceans throughout the year, supplemented by polychaetes and molluscs. Fish predominate during summer with the main species varying with locality and are usually caught close to the colony. Birds arrive at colonies in the spring though the start of laying is variable depending on sea temperature, laying latest where the temperatures are lowest (e.g. early July in the high Arctic). It is a highly colonial, usually forming immense aggregations on sea cliffs laying on narrow ledges. The extent and timing of post-breeding dispersal is largely determined by ice conditions and food availability. During the winter periods it can be found in large flocks at sea, likely related to the non-random distribution of winter prey (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

References
Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Gaston, A. J.; Gilchrist, H. G.; Hipfner, J. M. 2005. Climate change, ice conditions and reproduction in an Arctic nesting marine bird: Brunnich's Guillemot (Uria lomvia L.). Journal of Animal Ecology 74: 832-841.

Gaston, A. J.; Gilchrist, H. G.; Mallory, M. L. 2005. Variation in ice conditions has strong effects on the breeding of marine birds at Prince Leopold Island, Nunavut. Ecography 28: 331-344.

Heide-Jorgensen, M. P.; Laidre, K. 2004. Declining extent of open-water refugia for top predators in Baffin Bay and adjacent waters. Ambio 33: 487-494.

Sandvik, H.; Erikstad, K. E;, Barrett, R. T.; Yoccoz, N. G. 2005. The effect of climate on adult survival in five species of North Atlantic seabirds. Journal of Animal Ecology 74: 817-831.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

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
Calvert, R., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Uria lomvia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2014.

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 - Thick-billed guillemot (Uria lomvia) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Alcidae (Auks)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,250,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species