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Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
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 -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 20,100,000
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) 20.7 - - -
Population justification: del Hoyo et al. (1992) estimated the global population to number 526,000 individuals. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 300,000-310,000 breeding pairs, equating to 900,000-930,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 75-94% of the global range, so a revised estimate of the global population size is 950,000-1,200,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
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 Native Extant        
Austria Vagrant Extant        
Bahamas Native Extant        
Belgium Native Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Bulgaria Vagrant Extant        
Canada Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Cape Verde Native Extant        
Croatia Vagrant Extant        
Cuba Vagrant Extant        
Cyprus Vagrant Extant        
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant        
Denmark Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Egypt Vagrant Extant        
Estonia Vagrant Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Finland Vagrant Extant        
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gambia Native Extant        
Germany Native Extant       Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant   Yes    
Greece Native Extant   Yes    
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant   Yes    
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant        
Iceland Native Extant       Yes
Ireland Native Extant       Yes
Israel Native Extant   Yes    
Italy Native Extant   Yes    
Kazakhstan Vagrant Extant        
Latvia Vagrant Extant        
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes    
Libya Native Extant        
Lithuania Vagrant Extant        
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Malta Native Extant   Yes    
Mauritania Native Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Morocco Native Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant   Yes    
Norway Native Extant Yes      
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant   Yes    
Poland Vagrant Extant        
Portugal Native Extant   Yes    
Russia (Central Asian) Vagrant Extant        
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Senegal Native Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Spain Native Extant   Yes    
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant     Yes  
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Vagrant Extant        
Sweden Native Extant        
Syria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant   Yes    
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes
USA Native Extant Yes      
Western Sahara Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Canada Baccalieu Island site factsheet
Canada Bonaventure Island site factsheet
Canada Cap d'Espoir site factsheet
Canada Cape St. Mary's site factsheet
Canada Funk Island site factsheet
Canada Île Brion site factsheet
Canada Îles Les Boules site factsheet
Canada Îlot C site factsheet
Canada Les rochers aux Oiseaux site factsheet
Canada Marais de la baie de L'Isle-Verte site factsheet
Canada Marais de Pointe-au-Père site factsheet
Canada Shigawake-Newport site factsheet
Denmark Skagerrak-Southwest Norwegian trench site factsheet
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Mykines and Mykineshólmur site factsheet
France Archipel des Sept-Iles site factsheet
Iceland Eldey site factsheet
Iceland Raudinupur site factsheet
Iceland Skoruvik-Skalabjarg site factsheet
Iceland Skrúdur site factsheet
Iceland Vestmannaeyjar site factsheet
Ireland Bull and Cow Rocks site factsheet
Ireland Saltee Islands site factsheet
Ireland The Skelligs: Great Skellig and Little Skellig site factsheet
Norway Gjesværstappan site factsheet
Norway Runde site factsheet
Norway Syltefjordstauran site factsheet
Portugal Berlengas site factsheet
Spain Estrecho de Gibraltar site factsheet
Spain Golfo de Cádiz site factsheet
United Kingdom Ailsa Craig site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom Grassholm site factsheet
United Kingdom Hermaness, Saxa Vord and Valla Field site factsheet
United Kingdom Les Etacs, Alderney site factsheet
United Kingdom North Rona and Sula Sgeir site factsheet
United Kingdom Noss site factsheet
United Kingdom Ortac, Alderney site factsheet
United Kingdom St Kilda site factsheet
United Kingdom Sule Skerry and Sule Stack 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 suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major 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
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Morus bassanus. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 Sulidae (Gannets, Boobies)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 20,100,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment