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Ancient Murrelet Synthliboramphus antiquus

Justification
This species has a very 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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#.
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
The Ancient Murrelet can be found from the Yellow Sea (islands off China and Korea), through the Russian Pacific coast and the Aleutian Islands to the Haida Gwaii archipelago of British Columbia (Canada), where about half of the world population breeds. It can be found as far south as the southern coast of California (USA) (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.1,000,000-2,000,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996), while national population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in China; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Korea; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The population trend is decreasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007). The global population is also suspected to be in decline owing to predation by invasive species.

Ecology
Habitat: This species if found offshore and along rocky sea coasts. It breeds on islands often with dense vegetation. It forages mainly in offshore waters to the edge of the continental shelf but mayalso be found inshore where oceanographic processes concentrated food near the sea surface. It winters well offshore, often off the shelf break, but also over inshore waters where food concentration is high. Its distribution is determined largely by concentrations of planktonic crustaceans and small fish. Diet: Its diet is comprised mainly of planktonic crustaceans and small larval fish, with the specific prey species varying both geographically and temporally. Feeding usually occurs in small flocks by diving. Breeding: Individuals arrive in the vicinity of colonies a month before laying, from early spring to mid-summer depending on the locality. It is colonial but at low densities, and is often associated with other alcids. It is nocturnal at colonies, nesting in burrows excavated in soil but also in rock crevices and cavities and occasionally in holes dug by other suterranean nesters (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.; Smith, J. L. 2001. Changes in oceanographic conditions off northern British Columbia (1983-1999) and the reproduction of a marine bird, the Ancient Murrelet (Synthliboramphus antiquus). Canadian Journal of Zoology 79: 1735-1742.

Further web sources of information
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
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Synthliboramphus antiquus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2014.

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 (Gmelin, 1789)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 436,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species