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Common Eider Somateria mollissima

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) 3,320,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 5,350,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.3,100,000-3,800,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while the population in Russia has been estimated at c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are increasing, stable, or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant increase over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007) Note, however, that these surveys cover less than 50% of the species's range in North America.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Austria Native Extant   Yes    
Belarus Native Extant   Yes    
Belgium Native Extant   Yes    
Bosnia and Herzegovina Vagrant Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant   Yes    
Canada Native Extant     Yes Yes
Croatia Vagrant Extant        
Czech Republic Native Extant   Yes    
Denmark Native Extant     Yes Yes
Estonia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Finland Native Extant     Yes Yes
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Georgia Vagrant Extant        
Germany Native Extant     Yes Yes
Greece Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Hungary Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Iceland Native Extant       Yes
Ireland Native Extant       Yes
Israel Vagrant Extant        
Italy Native Extant       Yes
Japan Vagrant Extant        
Latvia Native Extant   Yes    
Liechtenstein Native Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant   Yes    
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Montenegro Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
Norway Native Extant     Yes Yes
Poland Native Extant       Yes
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Romania Native Extant   Yes    
Russia (Asian) Native Extant       Yes
Russia (Central Asian) Vagrant Extant        
Russia (European) Native Extant       Yes
Serbia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Slovakia Native Extant   Yes    
Slovenia Native Extant   Yes    
Spain Native Extant   Yes    
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Native Extant Yes      
Sweden Native Extant     Yes Yes
Switzerland Native Extant       Yes
Turkey Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes Yes
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes
USA Native Extant Yes      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Canada Cape Freels Coastline and Cabot Island site factsheet
Canada Cayes à Meck site factsheet
Canada Eastern Shore Islands site factsheet
Canada Eaux de l'archipel de Mingan site factsheet
Canada Fischot Islands site factsheet
Canada Île aux Fraises site factsheet
Canada Île Bicquette site factsheet
Canada Îles Sainte-Marie site factsheet
Canada Mistaken Point site factsheet
Canada Petite Île Sainte-Geneviève site factsheet
Canada Point Lepreau/Maces Bay site factsheet
Canada South Flaherty Islands site factsheet
Canada Wadham Islands and adjacent Marine Area site factsheet
Denmark Horsens Fjord, Svanegrunden & Endelave site factsheet
Denmark Korshage, Hundested and surrounding sea area site factsheet
Denmark Lillebælt site factsheet
Denmark Northern Kattegat site factsheet
Denmark Sejerø Bay and Nekselø site factsheet
Denmark Sprogø and Halsskov Rev site factsheet
Denmark Stavnsfjord and adjacent waters site factsheet
Denmark Sydfynske Ø-hav site factsheet
Denmark Vadehavet (Wadden Sea) site factsheet
Denmark Vresen and sea area between Fyn and Langeland site factsheet
Estonia Irbe strait site factsheet
Finland Hanko western archipelago site factsheet
Finland Korppoo and Nauvo southern archipelago site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Booth Sund area site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Dalrymple Rock site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Ikkattoq fjord and islands site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Kingittuarsuk III site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissorsuit (Ederfugleøer) site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Littleton island and nearby islets site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Qeqertaarsuit (Ederfugleøer) site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Stordal-Moskusoksefjord-Badlanddal-Loch Fyne-Myggbukta site factsheet
Iceland Ædey site factsheet
Iceland Borgarfjördur site factsheet
Iceland Breidafjördur site factsheet
Iceland Höfdahverfi site factsheet
Iceland Hrísey site factsheet
Iceland Hvalnesskridur-Thvottárskridur site factsheet
Iceland Löngufjörur site factsheet
Iceland Melrakkaslétta site factsheet
Iceland Skardsfjördur site factsheet
Iceland Skerjafjördur site factsheet
Iceland Stafnes-Gardur site factsheet
Netherlands North Sea north of the Wadden Sea site factsheet
Netherlands Wadden Sea site factsheet
Norway Froan site factsheet
Norway Inner Porsangerfjord site factsheet
Norway Inner Trondheimsfjord site factsheet
Norway Lista wetland system site factsheet
Norway Neiden- & Munkefjord site factsheet
Norway Ørlandet site factsheet
Norway Slettnes site factsheet
Norway Smøla archipelago site factsheet
Norway Stjørdalsfjord site factsheet
Norway Tanamunningen site factsheet
Norway Tautra & Svaet site factsheet
Norway Varangerfjord (including Hornøya and Reinøya) site factsheet
Norway Været site factsheet
Norway Vega archipelago site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Cape Billings site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Commander islands site factsheet
Russia (Asian) First Kuril strait site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Geka bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Impoveem bay and Khalpili islands site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Inchoun and Uelen lagoons site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Karaginskiy island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kekurny bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Malakchan bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Mechigmen bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Meinypylginski and Kapylgyn lakes site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Sireniki coast site factsheet
Russia (Asian) West Chaun plain site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Wrangel island site factsheet
Russia (European) Ainov islands site factsheet
Russia (European) Coastal belt of eastern Murmansk site factsheet
Russia (European) Kandalaksha Bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Khaypudyrskaya Bay (Islands of B. Zelenets, Dolgi, Matveyev) site factsheet
Russia (European) Onega Bay of the White Sea site factsheet
Russia (European) Seven islands site factsheet
Russia (European) Solovetski Archipelago and Zjizjginski island site factsheet
Russia (European) Terski coast site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Adventdalen & Adventfjorden site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island) site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Forlandet National Park site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Inner parts of Kongsfjorden site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Midterhuken & Eholmen site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Nordenskiöldkysten site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Nordre Isfjorden site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Northwest Spitsbergen National Park site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Sassen-Bünsow Land site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) South Spitsbergen National Park site factsheet
Sweden Bråviken - Hävringe site factsheet
Sweden Coastal areas of eastern Gotland island site factsheet
Sweden Outer Stockholm archipelago site factsheet
Ukraine Kinburns'kyj peninsula site factsheet
Ukraine Yagorlyts'ka and Tendrivs'ka Bays site factsheet
USA Amchitka Island Colony site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic marginal 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  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation


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 (2015) Species factsheet: Somateria mollissima. Downloaded from on 10/10/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 10/10/2015.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, Swans)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3,320,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment