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 (114)
- Americas (218)
- Archive (525)
- Asia (200)
- Australia (29)
- Europe & Central Asia (67)
- Illegal killing of birds (1)
- Middle East (42)
- Pacific (70)
- Species Group (164)
- Taxonomy (3)
- Uncategorized (3)
Five most recent topics
- Consultation on a subset of potential taxonomic changes to passerines
- Global IUCN Red List for birds – 2015 changes
- The taxonomic treatment of the Little Shearwater (Puffinus assimilis)/Audubon’s Shearwater (P. lherminieri) complex is being revised, and P. bryani is being recognised as a species: request for information
- Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) – request for information from Central Asia
- Tessmann’s Flycatcher (Muscicapa tessmanni): List as Least Concern?
- Whiskey protecting lorikeets in French Polynesia May 27, 2016Invasive alien predators, especially rats, are the biggest threat to the birds of the Pacific. Their spread across the Pacific has followed the movements of people, especially Europeans, over the last two centuries. These invaders, `stepping off the boat’, was the beginning of the decline of many bird species until now the Pacific has 42 […]
- BirdLife Cook Islands partner, Te Ipukarea Society, takes a stand against purse seine fishing and the damage it is doing to Pacific fisheries May 26, 2016The state of the marine ecosystems and the huge pressures on them from climate change, pollution and overfishing are big issues for BirdLife partners around the world. And this is especially the case for Bird Life Cook Islands partner, Te Ipukarea Society (TIS). It is part of the growing opposition to purse seine fishing, especially […]
- Bird friendly beef in Porto Alegre’s market May 25, 2016After years of work, SAVE Brasil has managed to bring bird-friendly beef with the seal of the Grasslands Alliance into the markets of Porto Alegre, the capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. But why is grass-fed beef such good news for birds?
- Whiskey protecting lorikeets in French Polynesia May 27, 2016