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European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
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) 234,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.8 - - -
Trend justification: The overall trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Albania Native Extant Yes      
Algeria Native Extant        
Austria Vagrant Extant        
Belgium Native Extant        
Bosnia and Herzegovina Vagrant Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant       Yes
Croatia Native Extant       Yes
Cyprus Native Extant       Yes
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant        
Denmark Vagrant Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Finland Vagrant Extant        
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Germany Native Extant   Yes    
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant       Yes
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Iceland Native Extant       Yes
Iraq Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Ireland Native Extant       Yes
Italy Native Extant       Yes
Kazakhstan Vagrant Extant        
Libya Native Extant        
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Malta Vagrant Extant        
Montenegro Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Morocco Native Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant   Yes    
Norway Native Extant       Yes
Poland Vagrant Extant        
Portugal Native Extant       Yes
Romania Vagrant Extant        
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Serbia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Slovenia Native Extant   Yes    
Spain Native Extant       Yes
Sweden Vagrant Extant        
Switzerland Vagrant Extant        
Syria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant       Yes
Ukraine Native Extant       Yes
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Bulgaria Kaliakra site factsheet
Croatia Kvarner Islands site factsheet
Cyprus Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands site factsheet
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Mykines and Mykineshólmur site factsheet
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Sandoy site factsheet
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Streymoy site factsheet
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Suduroy site factsheet
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vágar site factsheet
France Archipel des Sept-Iles site factsheet
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes site factsheet
France Cap Frehel site factsheet
France Cap Sizun site factsheet
France Détroit de Bonifaccio et Iles Lavezzi site factsheet
France Golfe de Porto, presqu'île de Scandola et golfe de Galeria site factsheet
France Iles Cerbicale site factsheet
France Iles Chausey site factsheet
France Iles Sanguinaires site factsheet
France Presqu'île de Crozon, Tas de Pois et Rochers du Toulinguet site factsheet
Greece Gavdos and Gavdopoula islands, Crete site factsheet
Greece Gulf of Kavala and marine region of Thasos island site factsheet
Greece Islands and islets of northern Dodecanese site factsheet
Greece Kythira island site factsheet
Greece Mikres Kyklades and Amorgos marine area site factsheet
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons site factsheet
Greece Psara and Antipsara islands and surrounding islets site factsheet
Greece Samothraki island site factsheet
Greece Saronikos Gulf islets site factsheet
Greece Skiathos and Skopelos islands site factsheet
Greece South Evvoïkos Gulf site factsheet
Greece Zakynthos island site factsheet
Iceland Breidafjördur site factsheet
Iceland Krýsuvíkurberg site factsheet
Iceland Látrabjarg site factsheet
Ireland Blasket Islands site factsheet
Ireland Horn Head cliffs site factsheet
Ireland Inishduff site factsheet
Ireland Inishglora and Inishkeeragh site factsheet
Ireland Inishmurray site factsheet
Ireland Inishtrahull site factsheet
Ireland Lambay Island site factsheet
Ireland Magharee Islands, Mucklaghmore and Illaunbarnagh site factsheet
Ireland Saltee Islands site factsheet
Ireland Skerries Islands site factsheet
Italy Asinara island, Piana island and Stintino peninsula site factsheet
Italy Cape Caccia and Conte port site factsheet
Italy Cuglieri coast site factsheet
Italy Features of the coast from Coghinas river-mouth to Cape Testa site factsheet
Italy Maddalena archipelago and Cape Ferro site factsheet
Italy Orosei Gulf, Supramonte and Gennargentu site factsheet
Italy Pantelleria site factsheet
Italy Sinis and Oristano wetlands site factsheet
Italy Tavolara archipelago, Cape Ceraso and Cape Figari site factsheet
Italy Tuscan Archipelago site factsheet
Norway Froan site factsheet
Norway Kjørholmane seabird reserve site factsheet
Norway Kongsøy site factsheet
Norway Lille Kamøya & Bondøya site factsheet
Norway Røst site factsheet
Norway Runde site factsheet
Norway Sklinna site factsheet
Slovenia Debeli rtič site factsheet
Slovenia Sečovlje saltpans site factsheet
Slovenia Strunjan saltpans site factsheet
Spain Aguas de Formentera y sur de Ibiza site factsheet
Spain Aguas del Norte de Mallorca site factsheet
Spain Aguas del Norte y Oeste de Menorca site factsheet
Spain Aguas del Sur de Mallorca y Cabrera site factsheet
Spain Archipelago of Cabrera site factsheet
Spain Cala Salada - Illa d'en Calders site factsheet
Spain Cape Barbaria site factsheet
Spain Cape Freu-Cape Farrutx site factsheet
Spain Cape Vermell site factsheet
Spain Cíes islands site factsheet
Spain Coastal cliffs between Cape Enderrocat and Cala Pí site factsheet
Spain Coastal cliffs between isles of Malgrats and Cala Figuera site factsheet
Spain Columbretes islands site factsheet
Spain Dragonera Island-La Trapa site factsheet
Spain Entorno marino de las rías Baixas site factsheet
Spain La Mola of Formentera site factsheet
Spain Mar del Empordà site factsheet
Spain Medas islands site factsheet
Spain North and east coasts of Minorca and island of Aire site factsheet
Spain Ons islands site factsheet
Spain Plataforma Marina del Delta del Ebro - Columbretes site factsheet
Spain Ravines and pinewoods in central Minorca site factsheet
Spain Tramuntana mountains site factsheet
Turkey Akkuş Island site factsheet
Turkey Amasra Coast site factsheet
Turkey Ayvalık site factsheet
Turkey Bosphorus site factsheet
Turkey Kozlu coast site factsheet
Turkey Küre Mountains site factsheet
Turkey Marmara Islands site factsheet
Turkey Şile Coast site factsheet
Ukraine Cape Uret site factsheet
Ukraine Karadaz'kyj Nature Reserve site factsheet
Ukraine Tarkhankuts'kyj peninsula site factsheet
United Kingdom Buchan Ness to Collieston Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Caithness Cliffs site factsheet
United Kingdom Canna and Sanday site factsheet
United Kingdom Fair Isle site factsheet
United Kingdom Farne Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom Foula site factsheet
United Kingdom Isle of Man Sea Cliffs site factsheet
United Kingdom Isles of Scilly site factsheet
United Kingdom Sanda Island site factsheet
United Kingdom Scapa Flow site factsheet
United Kingdom Shiant Isles site factsheet
United Kingdom Sleibhtean Agus Chladach Thiriodh site factsheet
United Kingdom Sule Skerry and Sule Stack site factsheet
United Kingdom Treshnish Isles site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools major breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic suitable 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
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
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: Phalacrocorax aristotelis. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1761)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 234,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment