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Larus cirrocephalus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES CHARADRIIFORMES LARIDAE

Scientific Name: Larus cirrocephalus
Species Authority: Vieillot, 1818
Common Name(s):
English Grey-headed Gull, Grey-hooded Gull, Gray-hooded Gull
French Mouette à tête grise

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L., Calvert, R.
Justification:
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species can be found in South America on coastal Ecuador and Peru, and from central-eastern and coastal Brazil to Argentina and inland to Paraguay and Santa Fe (Argentina). It is also present throughout much off Africa, on coastal and inland south of the Sahara, including Madagascar (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Argentina; Benin; Botswana; Brazil; Burundi; Cameroon; Chad; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Ecuador; Ethiopia; Gambia; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Paraguay; Peru; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Western Sahara; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Vagrant:
Algeria; Burkina Faso; Central African Republic; Comoros; Côte d'Ivoire; Egypt; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Ghana; Israel; Jordan; Lesotho; Liberia; Panama; Somalia; Spain; Togo; Tunisia; Uruguay
Present - origin uncertain:
Congo; Equatorial Guinea; French Southern Territories; Gabon; Mayotte; Sao Tomé and Principe; Seychelles
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour Most populations of this species are sedentary, although inland breeders will disperse short distances to the coast in the non-breeding season (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003). The species breeds colonially (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003), from April-May (before the rains) in Africa (Olsen and Larsson 2003), and from early-May in South America (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It remains fairly gregarious outside of the breeding season (Langrand 1990, Olsen and Larsson 2003), and is typically observed in pairs or small groups of 3-8 individuals (Langrand 1990), or feeding in large flocks in harbours and at refuse dumps (Olsen and Larsson 2003). Habitat Breeding During the breeding season the species inhabits tropical and subtropical coasts, rocky offshore islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003), coastal dykes, coastal dunes (del Hoyo et al. 1996), estuaries (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003) and harbours (Africa) (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), as well as large inland fresh and alkaline lakes (Africa) (del Hoyo et al. 1996), rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003), salt-pans (Martin and Randall 1987) and marshes (Argentina) (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species remains along the shores of coastal habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. rocky offshore islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003), coastal dykes, coastal dunes (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and estuaries (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003)) but also frequents settlements, cattle pens and fishing harbours (in Africa) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of fish (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), as well as invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. insects, molluscs and termites (Urban et al. 1986)), the eggs of herons and cormorants (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and dead fish and refuse obtained by scavenging (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The species breeds colonially, with nests often placed less than 1m apart (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Nests are positioned on bare ground, in clumps of reeds and papyrus (del Hoyo et al. 1996) on islands (Urban et al. 1986), or on floating vegetation (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), often camouflaged in tall, thick vegetation (Urban et al. 1986). The nest itself varies from a shallow scrape to a well built cup of rushes and grasses (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) depending on location, although floating nests are always substantial (Urban et al. 1986).

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is susceptible to avian botulism, so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the disease (van Heerden 1974). Utilisation There is evidence that chicks of this species are traded in traditional medicine shops (Brooke et al. 1999).


Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Larus cirrocephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 July 2014.
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