Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Laridae

Scientific Name: Xema sabini
Species Authority: (Sabine, 1819)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Sabine's Gull
French Mouette de Sabine
Larus sabini AERC TAC (2003)
Larus sabini subspecies sabini Christidis and Boles (1994)
Larus sabini subspecies sabini Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994)
Larus sabini subspecies sabini Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993)
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

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.
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sabine's Gull breeds in the arctic and has a circumpolar distribution through northernmost North America and Eurasia. It migrates south during the autumn, wintering in the cold waters of the Humboldt current off the coast of Peru and Ecuador and off the south-west coast of Africa in the cold waters of the Benguela Current (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; Cape Verde; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Denmark; Ecuador; El Salvador; France; Gabon; Greenland; Guatemala; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Iceland; Ireland; Liberia; Mauritania; Mexico; Morocco; Namibia; Netherlands; Nigeria; Panama; Peru; Portugal; Russian Federation; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Spain; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States; Western Sahara
Angola (Angola); Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bermuda; Bulgaria; Cameroon; Congo; Cuba; Czech Republic; Egypt; Faroe Islands; Finland; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Korea, Republic of; Latvia; Norway; Poland; Romania; Sweden; Switzerland; Togo; United Arab Emirates
Present - origin uncertain:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 948000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme 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 is estimated to number c.330,000-700,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while the population in Russia has been estimated at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).
For further information about this species, see 22694479_xema_sabini.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour This species is a long-distance migrant (Olsen and Larsson 2003) that migrates offshore between its breeding and wintering grounds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It returns to the breeding grounds from late-May to early-June when the Arctic tundra is still snow-covered, and breeds in colonies of 6 to 15 or occasionally up to 60 pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species may also nest solitarily or as single pairs amidst colonies of Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea (del Hoyo et al. 1996). After breeding the adults and juveniles depart the breeding grounds from late-July to August (Olsen and Larsson 2003), migrating in flocks of up to a hundred individuals and spending the winter in small flocks (del Hoyo et al. 1996) or as solitary individuals (Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat Breeding The species breeds on coastal (Snow and Perrins 1998) tundra wetlands (del Hoyo et al. 1996) in the Arctic (del Hoyo et al. 1996), showing a preference for swampy, moss and sedge tundra with many lakes (Flint et al. 1984), floodlands and low-lying shallow brackish pools, especially where these contain islets or narrow peninsulas of grass or moss and have low, moist margins that provide feeding areas (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species is pelagic (del Hoyo et al. 1996), occurring in cold water upwelling zones south of the equator (Snow and Perrins 1998). Diet Breeding When breeding its diet consists of adult and larval insects (Flint et al. 1984) (e.g. springtails Collembola), Arachnids, small fish and carrion, as well as small birds and the eggs of Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea and conspecifics (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species also takes seeds and plant matter on its arrival to the breeding grounds before the Arctic ice melts and other prey items become available (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species takes marine invertebrates and small fish (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape (Richards 1990) or more substantial cup of grass (del Hoyo et al. 1996), moss, seaweed and feathers (Richards 1990) placed on rocky, barren (del Hoyo et al. 1996) or damp ground vegetated with moss (Flint et al. 1984) or grass, usually near the edge of water (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 6.9
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Xema sabini. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22694479A38871280. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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