Morus bassanus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Morus bassanus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
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)

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.

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).
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
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.
For further information about this species, see 22696657_morus_bassanus.pdf.
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Population Trend: Increasing

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

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Morus bassanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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