Morus bassanus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Suliformes Sulidae

Scientific Name: Morus bassanus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Northern Gannet, Gannet
French Fou de Bassan
Sula bassana bassana Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994)
Sula bassana bassana 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., Calvert, R.
This species has a very 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 increasing, 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: The Northern Gannet is found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean with small numbers of individuals reaching the equator on the western and eastern side in the south, and reaching Norway in the north. Breeding sites include northern France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and the eastern tip Quebec (Canada) (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Bahamas; Belgium; Canada; Cape Verde; Denmark; Faroe Islands; France; Gambia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland; Guinea-Bissau; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mauritania; Mexico; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal; Russian Federation; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Spain (Canary Is.); Sweden; Tunisia; Turkey; Turks and Caicos Islands; United Kingdom; United States; Western Sahara
Austria; Bermuda; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cuba; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Egypt; Estonia; Finland; Kazakhstan; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Poland; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Syrian Arab Republic
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 20100000
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
Upper elevation limit (metres): 200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: del Hoyo et al. (1992) estimated the global population to number 526,000 individuals. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 300,000-310,000 breeding pairs, equating to 900,000-930,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 75-94% of the global range, so a revised estimate of the global population size is 950,000-1,200,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The population trend is increasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007).
Current Population Trend: Increasing
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: This strictly marine species wanders mostly over continental selves, feeding on shoaling pelagic fish which are mostly caught by plunge-diving from large heights. It also attends trawlers and will form large congregations where food is plentiful. Breeding is highly seasonal starting between March and April, usually in large colonies on cliffs and offshore islands, but also sometimes on the mainland. Young birds will migrate to the extreme south of its range, whereas adults range less extensively but still regularly winter in the Mediterranean and Gulf of Mexico (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 20.7
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Morus bassanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22696657A40292254. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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