Larus genei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Laridae

Scientific Name: Larus genei Brème, 1839
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Slender-billed Gull
French Goéland railleur
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Nisbet, I.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L., Taylor, J.
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 is not known however it is not thought to 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species breeds widely at isolated, scattered localities, from Senegal, Mauritania, and the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula, through the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Asia Minor and the Middle East to east Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-west India. It winters in much of the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caspian Sea including coastlines around the Arabian Peninsula, south to the Horn of Africa (del Hoyo et al 1996).
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Cyprus; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; France; Gambia; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mauritania; Morocco; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, European Russia); Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Spain; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Western Sahara; Yemen
Antigua and Barbuda; Belarus; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Germany; Gibraltar; Hong Kong; Japan; Kenya; Montenegro; Nepal; Nigeria; Poland; Portugal; Serbia; Slovenia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Switzerland; Thailand; United Kingdom
Present - origin uncertain:
China; Croatia; Somalia
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:26000000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population has been estimated at 310,000-380,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 35,900-57,300 pairs, which equates to 71,700-115,000 mature individuals or 107,550-172,500 individuals (BirdLife International 2015). An updated global population estimate using this new information from Europe provides an estimate of 280,000-345,000 individuals. The population is therefore placed in the band 280,000-349,999 individuals.

Trend Justification:  The overall trend is not known. Some populations may be stable or increasing (Wetlands International 2015), whilst the European population is estimated to be decreasing by less than 25% in 31.5 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Behaviour Populations breeding in central Asia are fully migratory, although other populations are sedentary or only disperse short distances (del Hoyo et al 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Migratory populations return to breeding colonies in late-February, most using a route along the west coast of the Black Sea (Olsen and Larsson 2003), leaving breeding sites again in July (Olsen and Larsson 2003). Many immatures also remain in winter quarters throughout the breeding season (Olsen and Larsson 2003). The species breeds from late-March to May in dense monospecific or mixed-species colonies (e.g. with terns) in numbers ranging from ten to many thousands of pairs (del Hoyo et al 1996), and is gregarious throughout the year, commonly occurring in flocks of up to 200 individuals, occasionally up to 3,000 (Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat Breeding The species breeds on the coasts of land-locked seas (Richards 1990, Snow and Perrins 1998), on sand-spits, beaches (del Hoyo et al 1996) and islands with mudflats and marshes in shallow tidal waters (Richards 1990, Snow and Perrins 1998), and on saline inland seas and steppe lakes (Olsen and Larsson 2003). It may also frequent meadows and moist grassland by tidal inlets (Snow and Perrins 1998), and brackish or freshwater lagoons or marshes near river deltas during this season (Richards 1990, del Hoyo et al 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding The species is almost entirely coastal outside of the breeding season, frequenting shallow inshore waters and salt-pans, although it generally avoids harbours (del Hoyo et al 1996). Diet The diet of the species consists mainly of fish (del Hoyo et al 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998) (c.50 % of the diet) (del Hoyo et al 1996), as well as insects and marine invertebrates (del Hoyo et al 1996) (e.g. crustaceans) (Urban et al. 1986). Breeding site The species breeds colonially with pairs nesting as close as 20-50 cm (Urban et al. 1986); large groups often splitting into subcolonies with groups centres 10-50 m apart (Urban et al. 1986). The nest is a deep scrape or shallow depression (Urban et al. 1986, Richards 1990), preferably positioned on open mud, although some pairs may nest in Salsola or Salicornia (del Hoyo et al 1996, Olsen and Larsson 2003). Management information A conservation scheme for the protection of gull and tern breeding colonies in coastal lagoons and deltas (e.g. Po Delta, Italy) involves protection from human disturbance, prevention of erosion of islet complexes, habitat maintenance and the creation of new islets for nest sites (Fasola and Canova 1996). The scheme particularly specifies that bare islets with 30-100 % cover of low vegetation (sward heights less than 20 cm) should be maintained or created as nesting sites (Fasola and Canova 1996).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):10.5
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Eggs and chicks of this species are preyed upon by Larus cachinnans and Larus melanocephalus (especially where colonies are frequently disturbed by humans) (del Hoyo et al 1996), and storms or cold weather may threaten breeding colonies by causing nest flooding and chick mortality (del Hoyo et al 1996). The species is threatened by pollution from oil (Cooper et al. 1984, James 1984, del Hoyo et al 1996) and plastic waste, and is exploited by local people (subsistence egg collecting) in the Mediterranean and western Africa (Cooper et al. 1984, James 1984). It also suffers from disturbance caused by local people and tourists casually visiting breeding colonies, and by habitat loss resulting from tourism development (James 1984). The species is susceptible to avian influenza, so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006, Gaidet et al. 2007). Pollution from agricultural chemicals is no longer considered a likely threat (I. C. T. Nisbet in litt. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Listed on Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species and listed under the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement. It is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention. Listed on Annex I of the EU Birds Directive. It is listed within 45 marine Important Bird Areas within Europe. In the EU it is listed in 131 Special Protection Areas. 

Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Identification of Important Bird Areas and designation as protected areas. Increased management in key breeding areas to prevent disturbance from tourism and recreational activities.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map revised.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Larus genei (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22694428A111226333. . Downloaded on 25 May 2018.
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