Alle alle 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Alcidae

Scientific Name: Alle alle (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Little Auk, Dovekie
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 (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-31
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Burfield, I., Ieronymidou, C., Pople, R., Tarzia, M, Wheatley, H. & Wright, L
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU27 regional assessment: Not Evaluated (NE)

The range size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern in Europe.

The species is Not Evaluated (NE) for the EU27 region as winter (non-breeding season) data were not available.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Countries occurrence:
Belgium; Denmark; Faroe Islands; France; Germany; Greenland; Iceland; Ireland; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Russian Federation (European Russia); Spain; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; United Kingdom
Austria; Czech Republic; Finland; Gibraltar; Italy; Latvia; Malta; Poland; Ukraine
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
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:22694837-1

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 9,200,000-82,000,000 mature individuals. The species does not occur in the EU27. For details of national estimates, see the Supplementary Material.

Trend Justification:  In Europe the population size trend is unknown. For details of national estimates, see attached PDF.
For further information about this species, see 22694837_alle_alle.pdf.
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Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:9200000-82000000,26700000Continuing 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:The species is migratory, expanding its range in winter to include the North Atlantic Ocean as far south as the U.K. This species feeds mainly on small invertebrates such as amphipods and euphausiids and on fish larvae. The precise timing of its spring arrival at breeding colonies is variable from late February to early May. Immense colonies are formed on sea coasts in the high Arctic, usually nesting in crevices in rock scree of maritime slopes and on coastal cliffs. Colonies are abandoned in August with individuals seeking waters in the low Arctic and boreal zones, rarely further south, often associated with the edge of packice (Nettleship et al. 2015).
Systems:Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):15
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by the current and future impacts of climate change, including temperature extremes, sea temperature rises and shifts and reductions in prey availability (Stempniewicz et al. 2007, Hovin et al. 2014). As a pursuit diver the species is at risk from being caught in gillnets and driftnets (Zydelis et al. 2013), with the lumpsucker fisheries in Greenland estimated to catch significant numbers (Merkel et al. 2011). As the species spends much of its life at sea, including at and below the sea surface, it is vulnerable to both chronic oil pollution and oil spill events. Recent tracking research has indicated that important foraging grounds for the species overlap with expanding oil and gas extraction activities and shipping, which could lead to habitat degradation and displacement (Fort et al. 2013). On land during its breeding season this species is exposed to predation from invasive alien predators, which could increase in severity as climate change allows the northward movement of predators.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed under the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement. It is one of the species considered within the Action Plan for Seabirds in Western-Nordic Areas (Nordiska MinisterrĂ¥det 2010). There are 18 marine Important Bird Areas across the European region for this species. Within the EU there are three Special Protection Areas which include this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Further identification of important sites for this species, particularly in offshore regions and designation as marine protected areas; Identify the risks of different activities on seabirds, and locations sensitive to seabirds. Management of fisheries to ensure long term sustainability of key stocks. Establish observer schemes for bycatch & prepare National plans of action on seabird bycatch. Develop codes-of-conduct for more organised activities (e.g. tourism). Ensure that appropriate protection (national laws and international agreements) applies to new areas and times in case of changes in seabird migration routes and times.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Alle alle. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22694837A60108138. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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