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Rissa tridactyla 

Scope:Global
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_onStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Laridae

Scientific Name: Rissa tridactyla
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Black-legged Kittiwake, Kittiwake
French Mouette tridactyle
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.
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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely 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:
2010 Least Concern (LC)
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: The Black-legged Kittiwake nests along coastlines in much of the north Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and also breeds on inlands off the northern coast of Russia and on the northern coast of Norway. It winters at sea, ranging across much of the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Overall population trends are unknown, though failed breeding seasons in 2008 and in some cases significant population declines have been observed in the United Kingdom by the RSPB.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Algeria; Austria; Bahamas; Belgium; Canada; Cape Verde; China; Denmark; Faroe Islands; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Lithuania; Mauritania; Mexico; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Russian Federation; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Tunisia; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States; Western Sahara
Vagrant:
Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Belarus; Belize; Bulgaria; Cayman Islands; Croatia; Cuba; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Egypt; Estonia; Gambia; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Israel; Jamaica; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Martinique; Mongolia; Montenegro; Montserrat; Oman; Peru; Puerto Rico; Romania; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); South Africa; Syrian Arab Republic; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Present - origin uncertain:
Afghanistan; Côte d'Ivoire; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Monaco; Sierra Leone
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 1080000
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.17,000,000-18,000,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.50-10,000 wintering individuals in Korea and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  The population trend is decreasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007), although populations are stable elsewhere (Wetlands International 2007).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
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 migratory and disperses after breeding from coastal areas to the open ocean (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It returns to its breeding grounds from January where it breeds from mid-May to mid-June in huge single- or mixed-species colonies (del Hoyo et al. 1996) that often exceed 100,000 pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Breeding may occur later after periods of cold weather and many individuals do not remain on the breeding grounds during such conditions (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species begins to disperse from the breeding colonies between July and August, often moulting in large flocks of several thousand individuals on beaches between the breeding grounds and the open sea (Olsen and Larsson 2003). Non-breeders may also remain at sea during the breeding season (Snow and Perrins 1998). Outside of the breeding season the species often occurs singly or in pairs (Snow and Perrins 1998) but may also occur in small flocks or as dispersed aggregations (Flint et al. 1984, Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat Breeding It nests on high, steep coastal cliffs with narrow ledges in areas with easy access to freshwater (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding The species moults on sandy beaches (Olsen and Larsson 2003) and on passage it may concentrate at sea on continental shelves, areas of upwelling (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and at rich fish banks (Olsen and Larsson 2003). During the winter the species is highly pelagic, usually remaining on the wing out of sight of land (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of marine invertebrates (e.g. squid and shrimps) and fish, although during the breeding season it may also take intertidal molluscs, crustaceans (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. crayfish) (Flint et al. 1984), earthworms, small mammals and plant matter (e.g. aquatic plants, potato tubers and grain) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). At sea during the winter it will also take planktonic invertebrates and often exploits sewage outfalls and fishing vessels (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a compacted mass of mud (Snow and Perrins 1998), grass and feathers (Flint et al. 1984) usually built on a narrow ledge on high, steep coastal cliffs (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Occasionally the species may also nest on glaciers or snow banks (where these have covered traditional cliff nesting sites), on buildings and piers, or on flat, rocky or sandy sites up to 20 km inland (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds in very large colonies with neighbouring nests spaced evenly 30-60 cm apart (where site availability allows) (Snow and Perrins 1998), and generally feeds within 50 km of the breeding colony (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 12.9
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by the depletion of food resources (e.g. through over-fishing) (Frederiksen et al. 2004, Nikolaeva et al. 2006), marine oil spills (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Nikolaeva et al. 2006) and chronic oil pollution (Nikolaeva et al. 2006). It is also susceptible to avian influenza so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006). The species is potentially threatened by climate change because it has a geographically bounded distribution: its global distribution is restricted to within c.10o latitude from the polar edge of continent and within which 20-50% of current vegetation type is projected to disappear under doubling of CO2 levels (BirdLife International, unpublished data). Utilisation The species is hunted in Greenland (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Rissa tridactyla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22694497A38874175. . Downloaded on 27 May 2016.
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