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 Phalacrocorax atriceps

This taxon is Not Recognised as a species by BirdLife International.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Taxonomic note
Phalacrocorax atriceps and P. verrucosus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped asP. atriceps following Turbott (1990).

Leucocarbo atriceps Turbott (1990), Leucocarbo atriceps atriceps Christidis and Boles (2008), Leucocarbo atriceps atriceps Turbott (1990)

Distribution and population
Four discrete ranges exist. Phalacrocorax atriceps is found on the southern tip of South America, from central Chile round to central Argentina, and on the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Phalacrocorax (atriceps) bransfieldensis breeds on the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. Phalacrocorax (atriceps) georgianus is found on the islands of South Georgia (Georgia del Sur), the South Orkney Islands, South Sandwich Islands (Islas Sandwich del Sur) and Shag Rocks (Scotia Sea). In the Indian Ocean, Phalacrocorax (atriceps) verrucosus is restricted to the Kerguelen Islands (French Southern Territories), Phalacrocorax (atriceps) melanogenis occupies the Crozet Islands (French Southern Territories), Phalacrocorax (atriceps) nivalis is found on Heard Island (to Australia) and Phalacrocorax (atriceps) purpurascens is restricted to Macquarie Island (to Australia) (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

This marine species forages in subantartic and Antarctic waters along the coast and around islands. It feeds in inshore waters having a diet which varies geographically, but including fish, crustaceans, squid and benthic invertebrates including sea urchins in the Kerguelen Islands. Breeding begins in either October or November, forming colonies up to hundreds of thousands of birds which are very dense (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J. 1992. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Text account compilers
Calvert, R., Taylor, J., Shutes, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Phalacrocorax atriceps. Downloaded from on 05/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 05/07/2015.

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 - Imperial shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Not Recognised
Family Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants)
Species name author King, 1828