BirdLife species factsheet for Cape Cormorant Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis is restricted to the West and South Coast of South Africa, Namibia and southern Angola. It is currently listed as Near Threatened under criteria A2b+3bc+4b, owing to moderately rapid declines in its population and range. The population of this species experiences fluctuations owing to variations in oceanographic conditions and consequently food availability (del Hoyo et al. 1992). However, recent information suggests that the population of this species is declining at a more rapid rate than previously thought (T. Cook and J. Kemper in litt. 2013). In South Africa, the population has decreased by 64% over 40 years, from 103,937 breeding pairs (c. 364,000 individuals) in 1978, to 37,408 breeding pairs (c. 131,000 individuals) in 2011 (Crawford et al. 2012). Between 1985 and 2011, the population decreased by 59.2% at the six main breeding islands in this region. Although fewer complete datasets are available from the 12 most important breeding localities in Namibia, the population trends are comparable to that of South Africa; a decline of 59.6% over 27 years, from 143,161 pairs in 1978/9, to 57,343 pairs in 2005/6 (Crawford et al. 2007). No time series of counts exists to gauge population trends in Angola, but the modest number of breeding pairs at Ilha dos Tigres in southern Angola (2,000-2,600) is not thought to impact the overall trends from the two main breeding populations in South Africa and Namibia (T. Cook and J. Kemper in litt. 2013). The negative population trends are likely to be due to a shortage of good quality food and its vulnerability to avian cholera outbreaks (T. Cook and J. Kemper in litt. 2013). If this information is confirmed, and the global population of this species has declined by more than 50% over three generations (33 years in this species) and similar declines are suspected in the future, it would qualify as Endangered under criteria A2ace+3ce+4ace of the IUCN Red List. Information is requested on this species’s global population size and trends. Comments on the proposed uplisting are also welcome. References: Crawford, R. J. M., Dyer, B. M., Kemper, J., Simmon, R. E. and Upfold, L. (2007) Trends in numbers of Cape Cormorants (Phalacrocorax capensis) over a 50-year period, 1956-57 to 2006-07. Emu 107: 253-261. Crawford, R. J. M., Dyer, B. M., Kotze, P. G. H., Meÿer, M. A., Upfold, L. and Makhado, A. B. (2012) Status of seabirds breeding in South Africa in 2011.Status of seabirds breeding in South Africa in 2011. Pp. 1-35. Branch Oceans & Coasts, Department of Environmental Affairs, Cape Town, South Africa. del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A. and Sargatal, J. (1992) Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona, Spain.
- Africa (188)
- Americas (341)
- Archive (716)
- Asia (299)
- Australia (40)
- Europe & Central Asia (85)
- Illegal killing of birds (2)
- Middle East (56)
- Pacific (134)
- Species Group (212)
- Taxonomy (160)
Five most recent topics
- Re-assessment of Species against Criterion B1: Red List Implications of the use of Minimum Convex Polygons
- Species to be potentially uplisted after a reassessment of species against criterion B2, following Tracewski et al. (2016)
- Proposed Status Changes of Forest-dependent Species
- Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus): uplist from Least Concern to Vulnerable?
- Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata): request for information.
- Nature Kenya’s Serah Munguti recognised for Tusk Conservation Award June 23, 2017After several years on the frontline working with communities and campaigning for the conservation of Kenya’s biodiverse Tana River Delta, Serah Munguti, Advocacy Manager of BirdLife International’s Partner in Kenya was shortlisted as finalist for the fifth annual Tusk Award. Serah who works for Nature Kenya has reached out to local communities and engaged with […]
- The Bird Bulletin - Vol. 12 June 23, 2017Welcome to the latest edition of ‘The Bird Bulletin’ – our weekly news brief. Every Friday morning, we bring you bite-sized updates from across Europe & Central Asia – kick start your weekend with “what a little bird told me!” ALIEN COVENANT – On Monday, EU Member States approved the inclusion of 12 new […]
- 'Mighty oaks from little acorns grow' June 23, 2017Our partners BirdLife Cyprus, BirdLife Malta and LIPU (Italy) have worked together very productively in the initial phases of a project to reduce illegal trapping of birds in the Mediterranean.
- Nature Kenya’s Serah Munguti recognised for Tusk Conservation Award June 23, 2017