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 (167)
- Americas (320)
- Archive (716)
- Asia (265)
- Australia (35)
- Europe & Central Asia (70)
- Illegal killing of birds (1)
- Middle East (47)
- Pacific (103)
- Species Group (189)
- Taxonomy (158)
- Uncategorized (6)
Five most recent topics
- Yellow-breasted Pipit (Hemimacronyx chloris): uplist from Vulnerable to Endangered?
- Okarito Brown Kiwi (Apteryx rowi): Downlist to Vulnerable?
- White-winged Cotinga (Xipholena atropurpurea): downlist from Endangered to Vulnerable?
- Atlantic Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus swainsoni): downlist from Vulnerable to Near Threatened?
- 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
- One to Watch - Spoon-billed Sandpiper December 2, 2016In our "One to Watch" series, we take a quick look at the status of some of the iconic species we're working on. Fondly known in birding circles as Spoonie, the charismatic Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea occupies a limited breeding range in north-eastern Russia, from where it migrates down the western Pacific coast to its […]
- Pioneering Sri Lankan bird group turns 40 December 2, 2016Sri Lanka, October 1976: seven intrepid trailblazers set their sights on making a solid impact on bird awareness and biodiversity conservation on the island. The result? The creation of the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL). Fast forward to 2016, and FOGSL are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Led by the much-loved Emeritus Prof Sarath […]
- Birds and Beyond – Special Protection Areas in the EU December 2, 2016BirdLife’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) have long been recognised as the scientific baseline for identifying nature hotspots worthy of Special Protection Area (SPA) status under the EU’s iconic nature laws – the Birds Directive. New research conducted by a team of international scientists – led by the University of Helsinki and recently published […]
- One to Watch - Spoon-billed Sandpiper December 2, 2016